The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents the first retrospective exhibition dedicated to the work of celebrated Indian modern painter Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde (1924–2001). As current scholarship revisits traditions of mid-20th-century modern art outside of the Euro-American paradigm, Gaitonde’s work presents an unparalleled opportunity to explore the context of Indian modern art as it played out in the metropolitan centers of Bombay (now Mumbai) and New Delhi from the late 1940s through the end of the 20th century. Born in Nagpur, India, in 1924, Gaitonde was an artist of singular stature, known to fellow artists and intellectuals, as well as to later generations of students and collectors, as a recluse, a genius, and a man of uncompromising artistic integrity of spirit and purpose. This retrospective will comprise 30 major paintings and 20 works on paper drawn from leading public institutions and private collections across Asia, Europe, and the United States. Gaitonde began developing a nonobjective style in the early 1960s, employing palette knives and paint rollers and often using torn pieces of newspaper to create semi-abstract forms. V. S. Gaitonde: Painting as Process, Painting as Life will reveal Gaitonde as a seminal colorist whose career remains unparalleled in the history of South Asian modern art. A scholarly catalogue and series of public programs will accompany the exhibition, which is being organized by Sandhini Poddar, Mumbai-based art historian and Guest Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
V. S. Gaitonde, Untitled, 1962 (detail). Ink and watercolor on paper, 55.9 x 76.2 cm. Courtesy of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi