Skip to content

“… what goes on in the studio… is a jumble of meditation, instantaneous decision, change of direction, memories dredged up and astonishment by what is happening on the surface before one…”
-Robert Hodgins on painting in his studio, in an interview with Ivor Powell, 1996

 

Robert Hodgins (1920-2010) was born in London, England, and had, in his own words, "a poor and tough beginning - which fostered a certain cynicism and determination in me." Following a few years working in Cape Town and living with a great uncle, 1938 to 1940, he joined the Union Defence Forces and saw service in the Intelligence Corps in Kenya and Egypt during World War II. One could discuss the formal principles of art present in each work in depth but, ultimately, Hodgins was renowned for his desire to identify and to break formal boundaries and hierarchies of society.

This desire is conveyed by Hodgins' satirical commentary on the overarching institutions or systems in which we exist but seldom question, present in both the scenes depicted in his work and the manner in which the artist then titled his pieces. Hodgins passed away in March 2010. Robert Hodgins: +/- 102 is a tribute to him that coincides with what would have been the artist's 102nd birthday on 27 June 2022. Many of the works presented are from the artist's estate and are to be publicly exhibited for the first time. The exhibition features drawings, oil monotypes and paintings, which demonstrate the range of skill and variation of atmosphere for which he was renowned.

 

Slide-Show

Slide-Show Thumbnails
A hero of the Caucasus

2008

Oil monotype

Frame: 76 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

A hero of the Caucasus

2008

Oil monotype

Frame: 76 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Despot

2008

Hand Coloured Etching

36 x 27 cm paper size

STD 12/20

Edition of 20

Enquire

Despot

2008

Hand Coloured Etching

36 x 27 cm paper size

STD 12/20

Edition of 20

Enquire

Little Monster

2002

Oil on canvas

45 x 35 cm / 17.7 x 13.8 in.

48 x 38.5 cm / 18.9 x 15.2 in.

Enquire

Little Monster

2002

Oil on canvas

45 x 35 cm / 17.7 x 13.8 in.

48 x 38.5 cm / 18.9 x 15.2 in.

Enquire

A Gesture On Stage

2008/2009

Oil on canvas

90 x 120 cm / 35.4 x 47.2 in

Enquiry

A Gesture On Stage

2008/2009

Oil on canvas

90 x 120 cm / 35.4 x 47.2 in

Enquiry

Warehouse

2010

Oil on canvas

90 x 210 cm / 35.4 x 82.6 in

Enquire

Warehouse

2010

Oil on canvas

90 x 210 cm / 35.4 x 82.6 in

Enquire

4 Simple Paintings Instigated by Philip Guston (2

Pairs) - diptych A

2010

oil on canvas, diptych, in artist's chosen frames

Work incl. frames each x2: 63 x 63 cm

Unique

Enquire

4 Simple Paintings Instigated by Philip Guston (2

Pairs) - diptych A

2010

oil on canvas, diptych, in artist's chosen frames

Work incl. frames each x2: 63 x 63 cm

Unique

Enquire

4 Simple Paintings Instigated by Philip Guston (2

Pairs), diptych B

2010

oil on canvas, diptych, in artist's chosen frames

Work, framed each x 2: 63 x 63 cm

Unique

Enquire

4 Simple Paintings Instigated by Philip Guston (2

Pairs), diptych B

2010

oil on canvas, diptych, in artist's chosen frames

Work, framed each x 2: 63 x 63 cm

Unique

Enquire

Tripper in Wiltshire

2004

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Tripper in Wiltshire

2004

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Crossing Piccadilly

2004

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Crossing Piccadilly

2004

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Self Portrait as an Artist

2007

oil on canvas

Work: 60 x 60 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Self Portrait as an Artist

2007

oil on canvas

Work: 60 x 60 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

A bastard of the old school

2003

Monotype

57 x 79 cm / 22.4 x 31.1 in.

Edition of 1

Enquire

A bastard of the old school

2003

Monotype

57 x 79 cm / 22.4 x 31.1 in.

Edition of 1

Enquire

Karate class

1991

Oil on canvas

Work: 57 x 91 cm

Unique

Enquire

Karate class

1991

Oil on canvas

Work: 57 x 91 cm

Unique

Enquire

Bitch with Beret

2004

Monotype

Work: 75 x 56 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Bitch with Beret

2004

Monotype

Work: 75 x 56 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Ballet Russe 1912

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 79 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Ballet Russe 1912

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 79 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Nocturne

2008

Oil on canvas

Work: 60 x 60 cm

Unique

Enquire

Nocturne

2008

Oil on canvas

Work: 60 x 60 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (nude in stockings)

c.1987

Ink on paper

Work: 29.7 x 21 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Untitled (nude in stockings)

c.1987

Ink on paper

Work: 29.7 x 21 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Lady Ottoline surprised

2003

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Lady Ottoline surprised

2003

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Car salesman

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Car salesman

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Untitled (nude)
1994
Ink on paper
29.7 x 21 cm / 11.6 x 9.2 in.

Enquire

Untitled (nude)
1994
Ink on paper
29.7 x 21 cm / 11.6 x 9.2 in.

Enquire

Whistler's Grandmother

2009

oil monotype on archival paper

Work: 57 x 76.5 cm

Unique

Enquire

Whistler's Grandmother

2009

oil monotype on archival paper

Work: 57 x 76.5 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (pedestrian and traffic)

2010

Oil on canvas

Work: 90 x 90 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (pedestrian and traffic)

2010

Oil on canvas

Work: 90 x 90 cm

Unique

Enquire

Pretty Boy Floyd
1980
Gouache and spraypaint over silkscreen on paper

Work: 65 x 50 cm / 25.6 x 19.7 in.
Frame: 76.5 x 60.5 x 3 cm    / 30.1 x 23.8 x 1.2 in.

Enquire

Pretty Boy Floyd
1980
Gouache and spraypaint over silkscreen on paper

Work: 65 x 50 cm / 25.6 x 19.7 in.
Frame: 76.5 x 60.5 x 3 cm    / 30.1 x 23.8 x 1.2 in.

Enquire

Skull
2001/02
Monotype
40.5 x 50.5 cm / 15.9 x 12.2 in.

Edition of 1

Enquire

Skull
2001/02
Monotype
40.5 x 50.5 cm / 15.9 x 12.2 in.

Edition of 1

Enquire

Untitled (skull)

1994

ink and water colour on paper

Work: 21 x 29.7 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (skull)

1994

ink and water colour on paper

Work: 21 x 29.7 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (study for Clubmen of America: The Klan)

c.2000

Ink on paper

Work: 21 x 29.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (study for Clubmen of America: The Klan)

c.2000

Ink on paper

Work: 21 x 29.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (three figures) - sepia

c.1985

Sepia ink & collage on brown paper

Work: 25.1 x 37.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (three figures) - sepia

c.1985

Sepia ink & collage on brown paper

Work: 25.1 x 37.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (reclining figure)

1994

Mixed media on paper

Work: 29.2 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (reclining figure)

1994

Mixed media on paper

Work: 29.2 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Unttied (two figures)

c.1966

Ink on paper

Work: 25.2 x 35.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Unttied (two figures)

c.1966

Ink on paper

Work: 25.2 x 35.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (figure)

c.1966

Pen and ink on paper

Work: 35.6 x 25.8 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Untitled (figure)

c.1966

Pen and ink on paper

Work: 35.6 x 25.8 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Untitled (three figures)

c.1966

Ink on paper

Work: 25.2 x 35.7 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (three figures)

c.1966

Ink on paper

Work: 25.2 x 35.7 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (two women in bikinis)

Pen & ink on paper

Work: 27.8 x 38 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (two women in bikinis)

Pen & ink on paper

Work: 27.8 x 38 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (Ubu figure studies)

c.1981

Ink on paper

Work: 29.4 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (Ubu figure studies)

c.1981

Ink on paper

Work: 29.4 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Pretre; Ubu - bridal scene

c.1981

Ink on paper

Work: 29.3 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Pretre; Ubu - bridal scene

c.1981

Ink on paper

Work: 29.3 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Magda

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 79 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Magda

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 79 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Gestures

2003

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Gestures

2003

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Pretty Boy Floyd

1980

Gouache and spraypaint over silkscreen on paper

Work: 65 x 50 cm / 25.6 x 19.7 in.

Frame: 76.5 x 60.5 x 3 cm / 30.1 x 23.8 x 1.2 in.

Enquire

Pretty Boy Floyd

1980

Gouache and spraypaint over silkscreen on paper

Work: 65 x 50 cm / 25.6 x 19.7 in.

Frame: 76.5 x 60.5 x 3 cm / 30.1 x 23.8 x 1.2 in.

Enquire

Off to the Charity Bell
1999/2000
Oil and charcoal on canvas and wood 57 x 79 cm / 22.4 x 31.1 in.
Edition of 1

Enquire

Off to the Charity Bell
1999/2000
Oil and charcoal on canvas and wood 57 x 79 cm / 22.4 x 31.1 in.
Edition of 1

Enquire

Deborah Bell & Robert Hodgins

Morphing for Herod (in collaboration with Robert

Hodgins)

1993/2017

Oil on canvas

40 x 51 cm

Unique

Enquire

Deborah Bell & Robert Hodgins

Morphing for Herod (in collaboration with Robert

Hodgins)

1993/2017

Oil on canvas

40 x 51 cm

Unique

Enquire

A hero of the Caucasus

2008

Oil monotype

Frame: 76 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

A hero of the Caucasus

2008

Oil monotype

Frame: 76 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Despot

2008

Hand Coloured Etching

36 x 27 cm paper size

STD 12/20

Edition of 20

Enquire

Despot

2008

Hand Coloured Etching

36 x 27 cm paper size

STD 12/20

Edition of 20

Enquire

Little Monster

2002

Oil on canvas

45 x 35 cm / 17.7 x 13.8 in.

48 x 38.5 cm / 18.9 x 15.2 in.

Enquire

Little Monster

2002

Oil on canvas

45 x 35 cm / 17.7 x 13.8 in.

48 x 38.5 cm / 18.9 x 15.2 in.

Enquire

A Gesture On Stage

2008/2009

Oil on canvas

90 x 120 cm / 35.4 x 47.2 in

Enquiry

A Gesture On Stage

2008/2009

Oil on canvas

90 x 120 cm / 35.4 x 47.2 in

Enquiry

Warehouse

2010

Oil on canvas

90 x 210 cm / 35.4 x 82.6 in

Enquire

Warehouse

2010

Oil on canvas

90 x 210 cm / 35.4 x 82.6 in

Enquire

4 Simple Paintings Instigated by Philip Guston (2

Pairs) - diptych A

2010

oil on canvas, diptych, in artist's chosen frames

Work incl. frames each x2: 63 x 63 cm

Unique

Enquire

4 Simple Paintings Instigated by Philip Guston (2

Pairs) - diptych A

2010

oil on canvas, diptych, in artist's chosen frames

Work incl. frames each x2: 63 x 63 cm

Unique

Enquire

4 Simple Paintings Instigated by Philip Guston (2

Pairs), diptych B

2010

oil on canvas, diptych, in artist's chosen frames

Work, framed each x 2: 63 x 63 cm

Unique

Enquire

4 Simple Paintings Instigated by Philip Guston (2

Pairs), diptych B

2010

oil on canvas, diptych, in artist's chosen frames

Work, framed each x 2: 63 x 63 cm

Unique

Enquire

Tripper in Wiltshire

2004

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Tripper in Wiltshire

2004

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Crossing Piccadilly

2004

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Crossing Piccadilly

2004

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Self Portrait as an Artist

2007

oil on canvas

Work: 60 x 60 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Self Portrait as an Artist

2007

oil on canvas

Work: 60 x 60 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

A bastard of the old school

2003

Monotype

57 x 79 cm / 22.4 x 31.1 in.

Edition of 1

Enquire

A bastard of the old school

2003

Monotype

57 x 79 cm / 22.4 x 31.1 in.

Edition of 1

Enquire

Karate class

1991

Oil on canvas

Work: 57 x 91 cm

Unique

Enquire

Karate class

1991

Oil on canvas

Work: 57 x 91 cm

Unique

Enquire

Bitch with Beret

2004

Monotype

Work: 75 x 56 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Bitch with Beret

2004

Monotype

Work: 75 x 56 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Ballet Russe 1912

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 79 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Ballet Russe 1912

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 79 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Nocturne

2008

Oil on canvas

Work: 60 x 60 cm

Unique

Enquire

Nocturne

2008

Oil on canvas

Work: 60 x 60 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (nude in stockings)

c.1987

Ink on paper

Work: 29.7 x 21 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Untitled (nude in stockings)

c.1987

Ink on paper

Work: 29.7 x 21 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Lady Ottoline surprised

2003

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Lady Ottoline surprised

2003

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Car salesman

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Car salesman

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Untitled (nude)
1994
Ink on paper
29.7 x 21 cm / 11.6 x 9.2 in.

Enquire

Untitled (nude)
1994
Ink on paper
29.7 x 21 cm / 11.6 x 9.2 in.

Enquire

Whistler's Grandmother

2009

oil monotype on archival paper

Work: 57 x 76.5 cm

Unique

Enquire

Whistler's Grandmother

2009

oil monotype on archival paper

Work: 57 x 76.5 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (pedestrian and traffic)

2010

Oil on canvas

Work: 90 x 90 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (pedestrian and traffic)

2010

Oil on canvas

Work: 90 x 90 cm

Unique

Enquire

Pretty Boy Floyd
1980
Gouache and spraypaint over silkscreen on paper

Work: 65 x 50 cm / 25.6 x 19.7 in.
Frame: 76.5 x 60.5 x 3 cm    / 30.1 x 23.8 x 1.2 in.

Enquire

Pretty Boy Floyd
1980
Gouache and spraypaint over silkscreen on paper

Work: 65 x 50 cm / 25.6 x 19.7 in.
Frame: 76.5 x 60.5 x 3 cm    / 30.1 x 23.8 x 1.2 in.

Enquire

Skull
2001/02
Monotype
40.5 x 50.5 cm / 15.9 x 12.2 in.

Edition of 1

Enquire

Skull
2001/02
Monotype
40.5 x 50.5 cm / 15.9 x 12.2 in.

Edition of 1

Enquire

Untitled (skull)

1994

ink and water colour on paper

Work: 21 x 29.7 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (skull)

1994

ink and water colour on paper

Work: 21 x 29.7 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (study for Clubmen of America: The Klan)

c.2000

Ink on paper

Work: 21 x 29.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (study for Clubmen of America: The Klan)

c.2000

Ink on paper

Work: 21 x 29.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (three figures) - sepia

c.1985

Sepia ink & collage on brown paper

Work: 25.1 x 37.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (three figures) - sepia

c.1985

Sepia ink & collage on brown paper

Work: 25.1 x 37.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (reclining figure)

1994

Mixed media on paper

Work: 29.2 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (reclining figure)

1994

Mixed media on paper

Work: 29.2 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Unttied (two figures)

c.1966

Ink on paper

Work: 25.2 x 35.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Unttied (two figures)

c.1966

Ink on paper

Work: 25.2 x 35.6 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (figure)

c.1966

Pen and ink on paper

Work: 35.6 x 25.8 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Untitled (figure)

c.1966

Pen and ink on paper

Work: 35.6 x 25.8 cm

Unique

Not for Sale

Untitled (three figures)

c.1966

Ink on paper

Work: 25.2 x 35.7 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (three figures)

c.1966

Ink on paper

Work: 25.2 x 35.7 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (two women in bikinis)

Pen & ink on paper

Work: 27.8 x 38 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (two women in bikinis)

Pen & ink on paper

Work: 27.8 x 38 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (Ubu figure studies)

c.1981

Ink on paper

Work: 29.4 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Untitled (Ubu figure studies)

c.1981

Ink on paper

Work: 29.4 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Pretre; Ubu - bridal scene

c.1981

Ink on paper

Work: 29.3 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Pretre; Ubu - bridal scene

c.1981

Ink on paper

Work: 29.3 x 41.9 cm

Unique

Enquire

Magda

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 79 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Magda

2004

Oil monotype on paper

Work: 79 x 57 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Gestures

2003

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Gestures

2003

Monotype

Work: 57 x 79 cm

STD 1/1

Edition of 1

Enquire

Pretty Boy Floyd

1980

Gouache and spraypaint over silkscreen on paper

Work: 65 x 50 cm / 25.6 x 19.7 in.

Frame: 76.5 x 60.5 x 3 cm / 30.1 x 23.8 x 1.2 in.

Enquire

Pretty Boy Floyd

1980

Gouache and spraypaint over silkscreen on paper

Work: 65 x 50 cm / 25.6 x 19.7 in.

Frame: 76.5 x 60.5 x 3 cm / 30.1 x 23.8 x 1.2 in.

Enquire

Off to the Charity Bell
1999/2000
Oil and charcoal on canvas and wood 57 x 79 cm / 22.4 x 31.1 in.
Edition of 1

Enquire

Off to the Charity Bell
1999/2000
Oil and charcoal on canvas and wood 57 x 79 cm / 22.4 x 31.1 in.
Edition of 1

Enquire

Deborah Bell & Robert Hodgins

Morphing for Herod (in collaboration with Robert

Hodgins)

1993/2017

Oil on canvas

40 x 51 cm

Unique

Enquire

Deborah Bell & Robert Hodgins

Morphing for Herod (in collaboration with Robert

Hodgins)

1993/2017

Oil on canvas

40 x 51 cm

Unique

Enquire

The exhibition title Robert Hodgins: +/- 102 ais not only a nod to his birthday but also alludes to the acclaimed exhibition UBU: +/- 101, which featured works by Deborah Bell, Robert Hodgins and William Kentridge. The works included in this show dealt with each artist's interpretation of Alfred Jarry's play, Ubu Roi, wherein the central character is a thoroughly evil, spiteful and dangerous bureaucrat. For Ubu: +/- 101, Hodgins produced a series of images which cast the Ubu figure as a villain in various great historic tragedies and scandals, while managing to inject a note of a comic character making himself ridiculous. UBU: +/- 101 was hosted by the University of Witwatersrand Art Galleries in 1997 and was the last of a number of brilliant collaborative ventures by the three artists.

Despite his use of parody and a sarcastic bite, Robert Hodgins was nevertheless principally known as a sardonic wit, a great raconteur, and a superb painter of the theatre of life. With excellent instinct for colour and the properties of paint, he developed a figurative style which showcased his command of both satire and irony. While many of the artist's works might have an underlying melancholy - or a tart social commentary - present in them, he certainly thought of himself as just as flawed as other human beings and chose to make his viewers "laugh at ourselves, even if ruefully." Critic Deon Viljoen, who has written extensively on Hodgins , said recently of the artist: "Few can dissect the folly that we call human behaviour with such frightening beauty. He is a master, that’s it."

Video-Show

Robert Hodgins | +/- 102
Robert Hodgins | +/- 102
Robert Hodgins | +/- 102
Robert Hodgins | +/- 102
Robert Hodgins | +/- 102
artist biography

Robert Hodgins (b. 1920, Dulwich, England) became a Lecturer in 1954 at the School of Art, Pretoria Technical College, where he remained until 1962. Then he took up a position as Journalist and Critic for Newscheck magazine. Between 1966 and 1983 he was a Lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand Fine Art Department. At the end of 1983 he retired to take up painting full-time. Some Hodgins' paintings convey a feeling of deep seriousness and sadness; the paintings depict a sense of confusion that many people experience. However Hodgins believed that being an artist is about creating something new, an artist perfects the art of ingeniously reinventing content within society.    

"Being an artist is about putting something into your subject matter that isn't inherently there," wrote Hodgins in 2000. "You are not at the mercy of your subject matter, it's the content, and what you put into it, what you do with it, what extract from it, and what you put it with, that is so exciting. If you are aware of this, then you begin to build on the content of your whole life. Before you know where you are, you're already thinking about the next work, and you could live to be 300. Paintings can be one-night stands or lifetime love-affairs - you never know until you get cracking"