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  • Provenance

    Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    London, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Tasters' Choice, June 12 - July 17, 2010
    London, Stephen Friedman Gallery, Galerie de l'Epoque, May 1 - 30, 2015

  • Catalogue Essay

    “I love spatial relationships and dimensionality. I’m interested in theatrical moments and choreographing experiences in space. I think as a drawer and make as a sculptor.”
    Jim Hodges

    Executed in 2010, the present lot reflects the hallmarks of Jim Hodges’ practice in both scope and effect. Installed on a corner wall, the black mirrored surface distorts its surroundings, picking up on the movement of passersby and their shadows. Exhibited in uniquely curated environments at Stephen Friedman Gallery in London the year of its creation in 2010 and again in 2015, Untitled (Black Door I) is a stellar example of the transformative sculpture which characterizes Hodges’ oeuvre.

    Aesthetically, this large-scale object serves as a case study in both the capabilities and restrictions of the color black. In the early part of his career after graduating from the Pratt Institute, Hodges stopped painting and began working almost exclusively in black and white, creating numerous drawings and soon after, the mixed media installations for which he has become known. The prevalence of black in Hodges’ work during this time period was perhaps symbolic of the lost lives in Hodges’ inner circle of loved ones to the AIDs epidemic of the 1980s. In the early 1990s, Hodges returned to color in sculpture, thus making the present lot a unique re-exploration almost 20 years later. By utilizing the color black in a sculptural, reflective surface, Hodges challenges the traditional limitations of the color, allowing it to reflect the pigments around it. As Hodges recalls of the importance of redefining color in his practice, “Growing up a Catholic kid out in Spokane, I recall the power of black and white and growing up with certain ideas of blue and pink in that irritating binary in which we were reared. These are things I thought about when I was first starting to make art: thinking about the conventions of color, embracing some of those conventions, and also playing with them, challenging them in myself, and denying them too.” (Jim Hodges, quoted in Olga Viso, “Choreographing Experiences in Space: Olga Viso Interviews Jim Hodges”, Sightlines, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, February 14, 2014, online)

    In addition to the color Hodges chose for Untitled (Black Door I), the artist also relies on texture and shape to instill the object with transformative power. With a tiled surface split into two separate elements and thin cracks to the glass, Hodges highlights the importance of destruction in his oeuvre. Of his sculptural practice, he said, “I came to realize that I’m a destroyer as much as I’m a maker. I find the disassembly…of something as important in my practice as constructing things. It’s been almost my default mode, to destroy. I have a soft, destructive nature.” (Jim Hodges, quoted in Olga Viso, “Choreographing Experiences in Space: Olga Viso Interviews Jim Hodges”, Sightlines, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, February 14, 2014, online) While essential to the materiality of his sculptural practice, destruction is also paramount in the emotional undertones of Hodges’ work. Untitled (Black Door I) simultaneously reminds us of the fragility of life, heightened by the distortions created in the passing viewers’ black reflections in the mirror. As such, the present lot is a poignant study in temporality, exploring the fleeting moments which characterize human existence.


Untitled (Black Door I)

left panel signed, titled and dated "Jim Hodges 2010 Untitled (Black Door I)" on the reverse
black mirror on canvas on board, in 2 parts
left panel 70 1/2 x 44 in. (179.1 x 111.8 cm.)
right panel 82 1/4 x 60 in. (208.9 x 152.4 cm.)
overall installed 94 1/2 x 45 3/4 x 61 1/2 in. (240 x 116.5 x 156.5 cm.)

Executed in 2010.

$300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for $300,000

Contact Specialist
Rebekah Bowling
Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
New York
+ 1 212 940 1250
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 16 May 2018