Ania Hobson - New Now & Design Hong Kong Sunday, November 26, 2023 | Phillips
  • Either caught in the act, suspiciously glancing off to a distance, or in deep, existential contemplation, the protagonists of Ania Hobson’s imposing portraits enthral viewers with enigmatic narratives. The present work, a self-portrait of the artist and her boyfriend, carries cinematic mystique whilst flaunting its painterly quality. 


    “I don’t necessarily send messages in my paintings, it’s more about scenarios and situations, sometimes the situations are partly from my own experiences with hints of them entwined into the work subconsciously.”
    — Ania Hobson


    Curved lines and contours make up the vigilant gaze of the driving figure. He checks the rearview mirror on his side warily, seemingly on the run from someone behind him that viewers are not privy to see. Contrastingly, the passenger figure seems unaware of this escape: she appears to be sound asleep, yet a foreboding sense of discomfort emanates from her furrowed brows and pursed lips. With expressive, virile brushstrokes fleshing out introspective figures, the present work summons the psychologically penetrating portraits of Lucian Freud. 


    The artist in her studio
    Image: Courtesy the artist


    Atypical to her usual abstract, geometric backgrounds, Hobson envelopes her figures within a universally-relatable yet transient space of a tunnel, suspending the pair in a transitory in-between, through one fixed path that is neither completely private nor public, neither ‘here’ nor ‘there’. By abandoning all principals of spatial depth and pulling the vanishing point forwards such that it is on equal plane to the foreground figures, Hobson clouds the initially simplistic composition with an almost claustrophobic quality, sending viewers into dizzying disarray. 


    Winner of the BP Young Artist Award, National Portrait Gallery (2018), Ania Hobson has held numerous successful exhibitions worldwide, most recently Hotel, The Artist Room, London (2023) and Ania Hobson & Barbara Kruger, Morgan Presents, New York (2023). She is currently represented by SETAREH Düsseldorf, where her upcoming show, Deep-rooted, will be held from 15 September – 21 October 2023. Hobson’s work resides in prominent collections including the Green Family Art Foundation, Texas and the John Marquez Family Collection, Florida, among others. 

    • Provenance

      The Artist Room, London
      Acquired from the above by the present owner



signed, titled and dated '"Tunnel" 2022 Ania. H' on the reverse
oil on canvas
120.1 x 167.8 cm. (47 1/4 x 66 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2022.

Full Cataloguing

HK$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for HK$88,900

Contact Specialist

Angela Tian
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now & Design Sale
20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2058

New Now & Design

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2023