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    "My practice has been inspired by the study of moments and translating the essence of them through color, figuration, abstraction, and various techniques of
    mark making."
    —Reggie Burrows Hodges



    Executed in 2020, the present work is a meditative example of Reggie Burrows Hodges’ mysterious silhouette-like canvases. Belonging to his On The Verge series, the composition depicts a figure riding a unicycle set against an inky, matte black expanse. A singular motif expressed here, the figure’s shadow becomes a spectral protagonist hewed out of the rust and ochre ground. The soft blended brushstrokes of the subject’s jacket create a radiant visual contrast to the abstracted landscape conjured by Hodges.



    Reggie Burrows Hodges, On The Verge: Suspension of a Blue State, 2020. Private Collection, Artwork: Courtesy of the artist and Karma, New York



    A reoccurring theme in Hodges’ recent work, the unicycle is referenced in at least ten other canvases executed in 2019 and 2020, six of which were included in the artist’s lauded debut show in New York at Karma in 2021. In Hodges oeuvre, the balancing act of riding a unicycle presents “a metaphor for the complexity of navigating the world with attention and immediacy. Traversing through varied environments, each canvas in the series suggests different stages of a metaphorical journey.”i



    "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




    Mark Rothko, Untitled (White, Black, Rust, on Brown), 1968, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY

    Mark Rothko, Untitled (White, Black, Rust, on Brown), 1968, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Image: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY, Artwork: © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 



    "I'm interested in intersecting an internal experience and symbolizing that in my work in order to present a view of my personal heritage and journey."
    —Reggie Burrows Hodges



    Hodges often explores themes of identity and personal memories. Many of his faceless portraits, almost always with bold, color-field backgrounds, depict abstract scenes of his subjects in movement or partaking in leisurely activities such as tennis, track and field, and dancing. Now living and working in Maine, the Compton-born artist takes inspiration from previous color-field masters such as Milton Avery, Helen Frankenthaler, and Mark Rothko to create a forceful density in his works. Hodges employs a unique process where he “paints entire canvases black, then fills in furniture, walls and clothing around them, leaving the subjects themselves as untouched, impossibly deep silhouettes.”ii




    Milton Avery, Blue Figure – Blue Sea, 1945. Private Collection

    Milton Avery, Blue Figure – Blue Sea, 1945. Private Collection, Artwork: © 2021 Milton Avery Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
  • Collector’s Digest


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


    •    The artist’s work resides in major institutional collections around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.


    •    Following the artist’s highly acclaimed New York debut at Karma, New York earlier this year, Hodges will be the subject of a solo exhibition at the Centre for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockland in 2022.


    •    After becoming the 2019 recipient of the Ellis-Beauregard Foundation Fellowship in the Visual Arts, Hodges was awarded the Jacob Lawrence Award in Art by the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2021.



    For the Greater Good, 2019 Achieved £441,000 in 2021.

    For the Greater Good, 2019
    Achieved £441,000 in 2021.


    i Karma, Reggie Burrows Hodges, January 2021, press release.

    ii Will Heinrich, “3 Art Gallery Shows to See Right Now,” The New York Times, February 10, 2020.

    • Provenance

      Surovek Gallery, Palm Beach (acquired directly from the artist)
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


On the Verge: Green

signed with the artist's initials and dated "RB 20" on the reverse
acrylic and pastel on canvas
60 x 44 in. (152.4 x 111.8 cm)
Executed in 2020.

Full Cataloguing

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $567,000

Contact Specialist

Amanda Lo Iacono
New York Head of Department & Head of Auctions
+1 212 940 1278
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

New York Auction 17 November 2021