Jim Hodges - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Monday, February 8, 2016 | Phillips

Create your first list.

Select an existing list or create a new list to share and manage lots you follow.

  • Provenance

    Paul Morris Gallery, New York
    Phillips de Pury, New York, Contemporary Art Part I, 15 November 2007, lot 4
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    Executed in 1993, Angels Voices is a triumphant example of Jim Hodges’ spider webs series, a corpus of exceptionally beautiful and conceptual works that have become synonymous with his practice. This lot is exemplary amongst the artist’s production: original and surprising, Angels Voices is simultaneously simple and difficult, durable and ephemeral, material and ethereal. Consisting of numerous webs and multiple layers of metal chain, Angels Voices, is a single, sparkly web made up of several concentric circles. Its lightness is magnified by a staggering compactness that brightens up the surrounding space. The title transports the work from the empirical world into a supernatural world, making it timeless. Similar to the series of flower curtains, Hodges’ spider web reminds us of the importance he attributes to ordinary objects.

    The spider webs can be seen as an extension of Jim Hodges’ interest in drawing. Angels Voices conveys some of the most prominent socio-political themes employed by artists during the 1990s: AIDS, HIV and homosexuality. As a young gay man in the early 1990s, Hodges explored topics such as beauty, fragility and loss, especially loss, as AIDS decimated his group of friends. The delicacy of his art conveys a sense that everything is dubious, transient, just like the webs of the present lot. Hodges’ use of spectacle and pretty decoration are in line with the aesthetics of the AIDS era gay community and the art of friends. These artists tackle the theme of HIV and persuade their audience to come to terms with our own fears, hopes and emotions. Angels Voices, like Felix Gonzalez-Torres’ “Untitled” (Toronto), is stunning in its simplicity of form, yet full of poignantly complex themes. 'Given the kind of reality that my generation was born in – disease being part of it, and bigotry and homophobia – I think what I got was this incredible challenge of rising to an occasion. I still feel very much in tune with that question: What do we do with this reality?' (J. Hodges as quoted in H. M. Sheets, 'Jim Hodges: Under the Denim Sky', ArtNews, January 2014, accessed online).

    Readings of this work are not limited to a singular analysis; instead, the artist encourages a visceral and communal response and invites his audience to freely recount their experience. For Felix Gonzalez-Torres and Hodges, using art to engage with community is integral to their work: 'When engagement with art is happening, there’s an opportunity for change.' (J. Hodges interviewed by D. Spears, The International New York Times, 25 October 2013, accessed online).

Property from an Important New York Collection


Angels Voices

brass chain
144.3 x 83.8 x 22.9 cm (56 3/4 x 32 7/8 x 9 in.)
This work is accompanied by an installation template and certificate of authenticity signed by the artist.

£300,000 - 500,000 

Sold for £410,500

Contact Specialist
Peter Sumner
Head of Contemporary Art, London

+44 207 318 4063

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

London Auction 9 February 2016 7pm