3rd Mar, 2019 12:00

Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art

Lot 40
Lot 40 - Robert Hodgins (South Africa 1920-2010)


Robert Hodgins (South Africa 1920-2010)
With Malice, Aforethought

oil over spray paint on canvas

Artwork date: 2006
Signature details: signed, dated, inscribed with the title and medium on the reverse; inscribed with the artist's name and the title on a Goodman Gallery label on the reverse

Estimated at R500,000 - R700,000


oil over spray paint on canvas

Artwork date: 2006
Signature details: signed, dated, inscribed with the title and medium on the reverse; inscribed with the artist's name and the title on a Goodman Gallery label on the reverse


90 x 90 cm


Robert Hodgins was a particularly prolific artist, particularly in his later life, as if he was determined to make up for the lost time before he became a full-time painter.His reputation as a highly collectable signature in the auction market, especially since his death, has focused on his numerous oil paintings, which have grown steadily in value. But in reality Hodgins had a highly developed commitment to formal and material experimentation. Critical and commercial attention may have focused on his oils, but he turned to many different mediums throughout his career, and perhaps even more so as he got older.The bequest of his print archive to the Wits Art Museum, where he spent many fruitful years teaching, amply demonstrates the range and diversity in his printmaking – an approach he extended to other work.This late work is thus noteworthy for its use of spray paint as its foundational layer, over which his more customary oils have been painted. More commonly associated with street art and graffitti, spray paint tends, understandably, to be inexact in its application, but has a neon palette and associated urban atmosphere which one can easily understand Hodgins being drawn to.The uncomfortable proximity of the figures in the work, and the threat of implicit violence contained in the work’s title, are almost unbearably heightened by its acid hues and blurred outlines. Such formal innovation by an artist already then in his eighties is testament to Hodgins’ restless genius.

James Sey

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Auction: Historic, Modern & Contemporary Art, 3rd Mar, 2019

Aspire Art Auctions set a new bar for the market in its Autumn 19 Auction in Cape Town, with a South African auction record for its cover lot.

An early work, by international star Marlene Dumas, Love Lost (1973/4) achieved R7 283 200, more than doubling its pre-sale estimate of R3 000 000. Further successful sales included a range of paintings by Alexis Preller from across his career, and new world records for work by Jane Alexander, Simphiwe Ndzube, and Moshekwa Langa. These results further establish Aspire’s growing reputation as the discerning auction house for handling contemporary South African art.  

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