Reggie Burrows Hodges - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session New York Thursday, May 19, 2022 | Phillips
  • "I start with a black ground [as a way] of dealing with blackness’s totality. I’m painting an environment in which the figures emerge from negative space….If you see my paintings in person, you’ll look at the depth." 
    —Reggie Burrows Hodges
    Reggie Burrows Hodges garnered wide acclaim with his first New York solo show at Karma in 2021. The mid-career artist has proven one to watch, with highly sought-after paintings that have attracted market and institutional recognition. Born in Compton and now living and working in Lewiston, Maine, Hodges paints images conjured from memories of his California upbringing with an understated Maine sensibility, inspired by current and former residents including David Driskell, Alex Katz, Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery and Winslow Homer.



    Milton Avery, Card Players [ITALICS], 1944, The Dorsky Museum, New Paltz. Artwork: © 2022 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
    Milton Avery, Card Players, 1944, The Dorsky Museum, New Paltz. Artwork: © 2022 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


    Hodges begins his work with a black ground in a metaphoric gesture. Building up his canvases from this starting point, Hodges’ figures are formed by surrounding layers of color. Blackness, here, is both the ground and the figure, fundamentally bonding subjects with their environments. Addressing universal themes such as memory, identity and community, Hodges uses Blackness as the origin from which he can then paint a story.

    "Figures created by Hodges are made sharper, and more haunting, not because we see those things in their eyes, we see it in their bodies, their postures, the endless desire for humans not to be alone, and to connect. To that Hodges adds all that wonderful blackness." 
    —Hilton Als
    Rendered in Hodges’ distinctive serene haze, Seated Listener exemplifies the artist’s work at its best. Using acrylic and pastel on raw canvas with an economy of form, Hodges deftly creates a wistful vignette of memory. Seated Listener includes just the barest features of a room–a dining table and chair, a multi-paned window glowing with warm light and plank wood floors–in which a delicate but angular figure is quietly observed in an introspective moment. Against a tranquil lilac wall, the inky character lacks facial definition, beautifully accepting the tenuousness of memory. Elucidating Hodges’ foggy brushwork and amorphous figures, Hilton Als has commended the artist for “pushing up past, and through… the idea that blackness is “heavy,” politically, artistically, and otherwise.”i

    Collector’s Digest

    • Reggie Burrows Hodges made his auction debut at Phillips London in October 2021, when his For the Greater Good achieved £441,000, soaring over 15 times its low estimate.

    • The artist will have a solo exhibition at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, opening in May 2022.

    • Hodges was honored with a Jacob Lawrence Award in Art in 2021 and received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters & Sculptors Grant in 2020.

    • Hodges’ work is held in major institutional collections around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

    i Hilton Als, “Nature Abhors a Vacuum,” in Reggie Burrows Hodges, exh. cat., Karma, New York, 2021, online

    • Provenance

      Surovek Gallery, Palm Beach
      Private Collection
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Seated Listener

signed with the artist's initials and dated "RBH 20" on the reverse
acrylic and pastel on canvas
18 x 18 in. (45.7 x 45.7 cm)
Executed in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

$50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for $119,700

Contact Specialist

Patrizia Koenig
Specialist, Head of Day Sale, Afternoon Session
+1 212 940 1279

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Afternoon Session

New York Auction 19 May 2022