Bid & Hammer’s first auction of 2021 is the latest in the ‘No-Reserve Auction of Indian Art’ series and is being held online from 4th to 5th February. This edition features Bengal school great Jamini Roy alongside sculptor Chintamoni Kar and other prominent artists, Sunil Das and Lalu Prasad Shaw, from the same region. Abstractionist Prabhakar Barwe’s work once again appears with that of Laxman Pai, K H Ara, and K K Hebbar. Contemporary artist Gurudas Shenoy and Modern Indian art legend M F Husain complete the line-up.
Jamini Roy's name is at the forefront of Indian art history for popularizing Bengal's folk art in contemporary times. Using the language of the kalighat and patua traditions from the region, he imbues his figures with a visual identity unlike no other and this essence is captured in a tempera on bark wood depicting Krishna playing the imaginary flute. Acquired directly from the artist, the painting is priced at Rs 2,50,000 – 3,50,000.
Chintamoni Kar’s bronze sculpture from the Nymph series is on offer at Rs 5,00,000 – Rs 7,00,000 whereas a charcoal on paper Bull by Sunil Das from his Spain trip of 1962 is estimated at Rs 1,50,000 – 2,50,000. Prolific painter Lalu Prasad Shaw’s painting of a Bengali lady rounds up the Bengal connection in this auction.
K K Hebbar’s Krishna consoling Radha in the garden is an attractive sketch, and his contemporary Krishnaji Howlaji Ara’s village scene of a hut from 1948 is another noteworthy paperwork. The unique proposition of Bid & Hammer’s absolute auctions is that there is no minimum bid or starting price, so collectors who are always waiting for a good deal should keep an eye on these lots too.
The most expensive artwork up on sale is a painting by M F Husain valued at Rs 45 – 65 lakhs. Showing three horses against an earthy background, the provenance of the painting is from the artist’s family, who do not wish to sell it at just any price. Hence, the auctioneers have categorically mentioned that bidding on this would start at a reserve. One will have to register for the auction and pay the mandatory earnest deposit before being approved to bid.
To view the artworks on offer visit the website www.bidandhammer.com or download the mobile application from the Google Playstore or iOS Store. For the uninitiated, Bid & Hammer is an auction house with Royal Patronage, established by the Dadha’s known for over 100 years of enterprise.