Over the past 20 years, contemporary artists from India have become significant players in the global art market, so it's only natural that Western institutions would begin to explore the context from which they emerged. Enter this Guggenheim retrospective of painter Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde (1924–2001). Gaitonde started as a figurative painter, channeling Indian tradition through modernist templates brought to the subcontinent by the British. By the mid-1960s, his style had evolved into abstraction. After a 1964 Rockefeller fellowship in New York, where he was exposed to the work of Mark Rothko, he began to create vertically formatted, all-over compositions ranging from burnt orange to deep green. These sometimes included glyphlike motifs, suspended between past and present to evoke ancient tablets or batik fabrics illuminated by the light from India's skies, seas and jungles.
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