Sun, 25th Mar 2018 18:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

 
Lot 132
 
Lot 132 - Robert Hodgins (South African 1920-2010)

132

Robert Hodgins (South African 1920-2010)
Night of the Awards, triptych

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 1997/8
Signature details: each panel signed, dated, inscribed with the title and order of display on the reverse inscribed ‘Just as “Mr. W.H.” was the “onlie begetter” of Shakespeare’s sonnets, so Mr Kendall Geer is the “onlie begetter” of This triptych. He declares in public “Hodgins will never no a painting as big as “The Triple Gates of Hell at the Joubert Park Gallery”. He challenges. I accept. This is the result. With affection for K.G., Robert Hodgins, May 98.’ [sic] on a label on the reverse
Literature: Atkinson, B., Becker, R., Powell, I., Geers, K. and Godby, M. (eds.). (2002). Robert Hodgins. Cape Town: Tafelberg Publishers, colour illustration on p.66.

Sold for R2,046,240
Estimated at R2,000,000 - R3,000,000


Condition Report

Paint flecks on right panel, minor surface dirt, otherwise good. Cleaned and conserved by Lucy Bloementhal.

Please note, we are not qualified conservators and these reports give our opinion as to the general condition of the works. We advise that bidders view the lots in person to satisfy themselves with the condition of prospective purchases.

 

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 1997/8
Signature details: each panel signed, dated, inscribed with the title and order of display on the reverse inscribed ‘Just as “Mr. W.H.” was the “onlie begetter” of Shakespeare’s sonnets, so Mr Kendall Geer is the “onlie begetter” of This triptych. He declares in public “Hodgins will never no a painting as big as “The Triple Gates of Hell at the Joubert Park Gallery”. He challenges. I accept. This is the result. With affection for K.G., Robert Hodgins, May 98.’ [sic] on a label on the reverse
Literature: Atkinson, B., Becker, R., Powell, I., Geers, K. and Godby, M. (eds.). (2002). Robert Hodgins. Cape Town: Tafelberg Publishers, colour illustration on p.66.

(1)

198 x 444 cm

Notes:

Robert Hodgins’ Night of the Awards was the title work of the artist’s fifth exhibition at the Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, in 1998. He was already the firm favourite of the Gallery’s owner, Linda Givon, who was soon to call him South Africa’s “King of the Canvas” and, tellingly for the subject of this work, her “Superstar Matinee Idol”. Buoyed by his success, Hodgins became increasingly ambitious in his work. Responding to a challenge by his friend Kendell Geers, as the inscription on the back records, Night of the Awards, at almost four and a half metres across, is probably the biggest painting he ever made – suitable, one might think, for the boardrooms whose suited and cigar-smoking denizens he so liked to pillory. Moreover, his new confidence encouraged extraordinary audacity in the rendering of the principles of figurative art – form, space, narrative, character, and expression. At the same time, however, Hodgins always expressed surprise at his success and doubt that he actually ‘belonged’.These contradictions are apparent in Night of the Awards and several other works of this time. The subject seems to be drawn from some awards ceremony, probably one witnessed on television. On a loosely-defined stage-like space, three figures are presented to the audience/spectator, with the one on the right apparently speaking and the other two listening self-consciously to his address. These three figures constitute a tour de force of painting. On one level, the theatrical rhetoric of the occasion is fully realised in their forms; but, on another, the artist effectively challenges every aspect of their physical presence: contours, planes, scale and spatial position shift; the figures – and, for the central image, the face – seem to multiply and move through space like some condensed Muybridge photogravure; and uncertainty – physical and existential - unsettles the image. Night of the Awards is a spectacular disquisition on the nature of success, celebrity and fame – for Hodgins himself, and for his audience, the viewer.

Michael Godby

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, Sun, 25th Mar 2018

Aspire Art Auctions brought a unique offering to their second auction in the Cape allowing buyers to add quality and rarity to their collections.

Headlining the success of the auction was as a rare intaglio by Alexis Preller, Gold Angel (Arêté), which sold for R4 638 400. The piece was part of Preller’s last body of work shown at the Goodman Gallery in 1975, and took its place alongside the sale of his mid-period work, the exquisite small study Still life with Vase and Carved Head, which sold for R811 720. Other auction highlights included work by contemporary artists Robert Hodgins, Athi-Patra Ruga, Zander Blom, and Penny Siopis and sculpture by Deborah Bell, Willem Boshoff, Wim Botha, and Amadlozi alumnus Sydney Kumalo.

Viewing

Friday 23 March 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm
Saturday 24 March 2018 | 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday 25 March 2018 | 10 am – 3 pm

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