Spanning three months, an art retrospective exhibition of one of India's most-known modernist artists and Padma Shri recipient, Vasudeo S. Gaitonde, is currently ongoing at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum in Mumbai.
The retrospective "V.S. Gaitonde: The Silent Observer", which kick-started on Saturday, will conclude on November 3. It is organised by the Jehangir Nicholson Art Foundation.
Nagpur-born Gaitonde (1924-2001), went to the Sir J. J. School of Art and was considered an abstract painter, but preferred calling his work "non-objective". He believed that there is no such thing as abstract art. Gaitonde was also asked to join the Bombay Progressive Artists' Group, which comprised M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, Tyeb Mehta, and F.N. Souza among other big names.
Armed with a roller and palette knives to create his own layered texture, he worked with various mediums. "Gaitonde's paintings, evocative of subliminal depths, are known for their spiritual quality and characteristic silence. The textural structure along with the interplay of color is the main aspect of his works," the gallery said in a note on the exhibit.
The exhibition brings together for the first time, works from two iconic collections that date back to the early 1950s. Works from the Jehangir Nicholson collection and the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research collection.
It includes works from Pundole Art Gallery, one of Mumbai's first galleries that began a relationship with the artist from his earliest days as a painter. Gaitonde's work has been exhibited at several exhibitions in India and abroad. In 2014-2015, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York organised a major retrospective of the artist's works, titled "V S Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life".