Gaitonde, V. S.

Gaitonde, V. S. (Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde), 1924–2001, Indian painter, grad. Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhoy School of Art, Bombay (now Mumbai), 1948. He became part of the Progressive Artists Group (formed 1947), which sought to break with the traditions of Indian representational art and was influenced by modern European artists, especially Klee and Picasso. Gaitonde also studied Indian miniature painting, and began to synthesize its traditions and his modern influences. His early work from the 1950s has recognizable figures shown in a flat, somewhat cubist style, but by the 1960s he had moved away from figurative painting, although he called his work nonobjective rather than abstract. In his later work he used new techniques and textures, building up paint with a roller and then scraping it off with a palette knife, or pressing bits of painted paper or cloth to surfaces. Influenced by Zen Buddhism and East Asian hanging scrolls, he switched from horizontal to vertical canvases and also created ink-and-brush works. A quiet, somewhat reclusive figure, he produced relatively few paintings, almost all untitled.

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