Jim Hodges - Contemporary Art Evening Sale London Friday, October 12, 2007 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    CRG Gallery, New York

  • Literature

    E. Exposito, T. Hailand and C. Labella, eds., Jim Hodges: This Line To You, Santiago de Compostela 2006, pp. 44 & 45 (illustrated); CRG Gallery, Jim Hodges: 1992, New York 2007, n.p. (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “My own work comes out of a combination of ideas. In the case of my spiderwebs, I wanted permanence, delicacy, invisibility, emptiness, sadness, beauty, playfulness, hiding, disappearing, architecture, potential, bareness, fantasy, mystery, darkness, time...”
    (Jim Hodges taken from J. Keats, ‘Letters to a Young Artist’ in San Francisco Magazine, IDEAS, February 2000, pp. 56-57)

    American born artist Jim Hodges has been creating awe-inspiring works
    of art in a variety of media since the early 90s. Although trained as a
    painter, Hodges has expanded his artistic practice to include highly complex
    and startlingly beautiful drawings (both on paper and site-specific),
    works on canvas that often involve the application of unconventional
    materials like glass, photographs and perhaps his most recognizable
    choice of media, sculptural installations. While the installations can take
    many forms—both in the gallery and in the public domain—Hodges has
    consistently engaged the use of found objects to achieve his magnificent
    final product.

    The white brass chain as formed to resemble a spider’s web is one object
    employed by Hodges in many of his early sculptures. The present lot, A Model of Delicacy consists of a branch covered in silk and wire flowers that appears to be floating in the air. The branch is in fact discretely held by three gossamer metal spider webs, which are attached to both the ceiling and the wall. The play of positive and negative space created by the webs and flowered branch epitomizes Hodges ability to create an environment with his chosen materials and illustrates the artist’s special understanding of compositional interplay
    often used by trained painters. Their acrobatic formation together with the elegance of the flowered centerpiece infuses A Model of Delicacy with a delicate quality of fairytale-like prettiness.

    Combining the masculine material of the chain-link webs with the femininity of the flowers, Hodges has artistically composed an interplay of both space and material, allowing for each specific element within the art works’ constellation to complement the other. The beautifully composed chains, guard and support the centered object, and through the work’s harmonious formation provide the branch of flowers with a resting place. Hodges has literally created a “web” where all four elements are dependent upon one another within their “natural” habitat.

    The “natural” habitat created by Hodges, forces the viewer to keep some distance from the work, given its chosen installation in the corner of a room. This perspective and distance from the work heightens the emotional response to seeing the flower’s traditional beauty being temporarily consumed by the brass spider’s web. This method of creating beauty by combining two seemingly disparate objects is commonplace in Hodges’ sculptures and a method that makes the artist’s works evocative and universal to a large audience. One might not immediately understand why they are having a
    profound personal reaction to the sculptures, but upon extended viewing
    the choice of material and composition resonates. This experience
    is described by Nayland Blake in his essay, Theme From Mantrap:

    From Mantrap:
    “Tidy, shimmering, and reserved in affect, these pieces are easy to overlook.
    Originally Hodges installed them in the margins, tucked them into
    the corners of galleries, too high or low for normal viewing. In group show
    situations, this often meant that Hodges’ work was the one you would
    find last, the unexpected surprise that made you reconsider the whole.
    When you finally became aware of them in the space and get up close
    enough to see them, their seeming fragility makes you nervous, painfully
    aware of your own bulk and awkwardness. They are visual and conceptual
    conundrums: a fragile, organic thing mimicked by a sturdy machine
    made one…The chains are representations of spider webs and yet they
    are often combined with items like jeans that have not been transformed
    into representations of anything else that simply seem to be themselves.
    This combination of the worked and the unworked in one piece, ensnares
    us in the tangles of its syntax.”

    Ultimately, all the elements in A Model of Delicacy work
    together to achieve a powerful visual and emotional experience, one that
    resonates with viewers both during and after their interaction with the
    work. A Model of Delicacy successfully integrates all of the desirable
    visual elements consistent with the finest sculptural works by Jim
    Hodges, and can be looked to as a prime early example of sculpture
    within the artist’s larger body of work.


A Model of Delicacy

White brass chain, silk and wire.
56 x 64 x 17 in. (142.2 x 162.5 x 43.2 cm).
This work is accompanied by a photo certificate signed by the artist.

£300,000 - 400,000 

Sold for £356,000

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Evening Sale
13 October 2007, 4pm