Wed, 29th Sep 2021 19:00

Modern & Contemporary Art

 
  Lot 39
 
Lot 39 - Robert Hodgins (South Africa 1920-2010)

39

Robert Hodgins (South Africa 1920-2010)
Left out of Making Love in the Shadows

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2009
Signature details: inscribed with the artist's name and dated on the reverse
Literature: CF: Dippenaar. E., Givon, L. and Dundas N. (2002). Robert Hodgins. Cape Town: Tafelberg Publishers. A similar example illustrated in colour on p.103.

(Qty: 1)

90 x 120 x 2.5 cm

Provenance:

Acquired form the Estate of Robert Hodgins.

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Robert Hodgins paints like no other painter. His signature style of expressive draughtsmanship and glorious colour employed in conjunction with sharp intelligence and wit, make him unique in the pantheon of top South African artists.

“Always driven to experiment with light and colour”, says Brenda Atkinson, the editor of his monograph, “Hodgins started to gain confidence with both in the early to mid-1980s. Influenced by Bridget Riley and Francis Bacon, the artist who as a student could a"ord only four tubes of the basics, has come in the last decade or so, to be associated with impossible feats of the palette.”[1]

Having attended Goldsmiths College at the University of London, on a part-time basis not long after World War II, Hodgins began, as many painters do, by painting nudes. They continue to figure prominently throughout his oeuvre, in various guises.

Here, in this deliciously comic and poignant work, he hints at the delights and dramas to be discovered in the shadows. Divided vertically into three registers, the composition presents a lone central figure, sandwiched between two dark booths, each containing an embracing couple in a dark, steamy space. Isolated, in her brightly lit interior, she looks surprised and slightly mystified, to find herself alone.

The facial expression – confused, bereft and even a bit a"ronted – betrays the central figure’s emotions. Why should she be alone while the others ‘get lucky’ and what is to be done about this? Hodgins, ever the master of his medium, leavens the dark with brilliant colour and comic relief.

The title adds a vital dimension. “Language is crucial to the expressive vocabulary of Hodgins. … capable of quoting verbatim vast tracts of literary wisdom or nonsense, Hodgins inhabits and deploys language with an almost tactile delight. It’s as if he feels the sense of certain words rolling o" his tongue, registers on his skins the reverberations of their impact with the world. Hodgins is not of that generation who title their work Untitled; if words can add one or more possible layers of signification to a painting, he uses them to do so.”2[]


[1] Atkinson, B. (2002). ‘Old Loves, New A"airs’ in Atkinson, B. et al. Robert Hodgins. Cape Town: Tafelberg, p.13.
[2] Ibid., p.14

Estimate
R800,000 - R1,200,000
 

Buyers Premium

Place Bid
R
Register for Live Bidding

Viewing

Lots will be on view at our Cape Town gallery.

Location:
37A Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001

 

oil on canvas

Artwork date: 2009
Signature details: inscribed with the artist's name and dated on the reverse
Literature: CF: Dippenaar. E., Givon, L. and Dundas N. (2002). Robert Hodgins. Cape Town: Tafelberg Publishers. A similar example illustrated in colour on p.103.

(Qty: 1)

90 x 120 x 2.5 cm

Provenance:

Acquired form the Estate of Robert Hodgins.

Private collection, Johannesburg.

Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg.

Notes:

Robert Hodgins paints like no other painter. His signature style of expressive draughtsmanship and glorious colour employed in conjunction with sharp intelligence and wit, make him unique in the pantheon of top South African artists.

“Always driven to experiment with light and colour”, says Brenda Atkinson, the editor of his monograph, “Hodgins started to gain confidence with both in the early to mid-1980s. Influenced by Bridget Riley and Francis Bacon, the artist who as a student could a"ord only four tubes of the basics, has come in the last decade or so, to be associated with impossible feats of the palette.”[1]

Having attended Goldsmiths College at the University of London, on a part-time basis not long after World War II, Hodgins began, as many painters do, by painting nudes. They continue to figure prominently throughout his oeuvre, in various guises.

Here, in this deliciously comic and poignant work, he hints at the delights and dramas to be discovered in the shadows. Divided vertically into three registers, the composition presents a lone central figure, sandwiched between two dark booths, each containing an embracing couple in a dark, steamy space. Isolated, in her brightly lit interior, she looks surprised and slightly mystified, to find herself alone.

The facial expression – confused, bereft and even a bit a"ronted – betrays the central figure’s emotions. Why should she be alone while the others ‘get lucky’ and what is to be done about this? Hodgins, ever the master of his medium, leavens the dark with brilliant colour and comic relief.

The title adds a vital dimension. “Language is crucial to the expressive vocabulary of Hodgins. … capable of quoting verbatim vast tracts of literary wisdom or nonsense, Hodgins inhabits and deploys language with an almost tactile delight. It’s as if he feels the sense of certain words rolling o" his tongue, registers on his skins the reverberations of their impact with the world. Hodgins is not of that generation who title their work Untitled; if words can add one or more possible layers of signification to a painting, he uses them to do so.”2[]


[1] Atkinson, B. (2002). ‘Old Loves, New A"airs’ in Atkinson, B. et al. Robert Hodgins. Cape Town: Tafelberg, p.13.
[2] Ibid., p.14

The overall condition is good.

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.

Request condition report

 
 

You can place an absentee bid through our website - please sign in to your account on our website to proceed.

Click here to download our absentee bidding form.

Auction: Modern & Contemporary Art, Wed, 29th Sep 2021

 

Aspire Art Auctions brings a significant and insightfully compiled selection of top-quality modern and contemporary art to auction in Cape Town. The sale stars exceptional works by many of South Africa’s big signatures, including, William Kentridge, Robert Hodgins, Penny Siopis, Edoardo Villa, Sydney Kumalo and J.H Pierneef, amongst others. Also featured is an exciting collection of contemporary artists from elsewhere in Africa – Patrick Bongoy and Zemba Luzamba from the Congo, Moustapha Baïdi Oumarou from Cameroon and Gerald Chukwuma from Nigeria.

The auction is the first at Aspire’s new premises in De Waterkant. The 132 lot sale will be held over two days with a Modern Session on the 29th September and a Contemporary Session on the 30th September.

 

Download the Telephone/Absentee Bidding Form

 

Viewing

Lots will be on view at our Cape Town gallery.

Location:
37A Somerset Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town, 8001

View all lots in this sale