Lot 410
  • 410

Jim Hodges

500,000 - 700,000 USD
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  • Jim Hodges
  • Light II (Stars)
  • signed, titled and dated 2007 on the reverse
  • mirror and silicone mounted to Masonite
  • Diameter: 71 1/2 in. 191.6 cm.


CRG Gallery, New York
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2008


This work is in very good and sound condition overall. All elements appear to be present and stable. The mirror elements along the perimeter edge of the work are uneven, which is inherent to the artist's chosen medium and method of working. Unframed.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

"I am a dedicated servant to art, a devoted servant. I will do what art wants. That is part of what art asks of me: to be engaged physically with an experience. This is what I wish to continue to develop. In this way, the work becomes that which you experience too." Jim Hodges

New York-based artist Jim Hodges is widely known for his poignant documentation of his material surroundings. Through the injection of poetry and emotion into seemingly unremarkable objects, Hodges creates complex visual documentaries cemented in the everyday human experience, guided by his uniquely craft-oriented approach. From works on paper, to delicate wall sculptures, and immersive room-size installations, his extensive body of work reinterprets tales of love, loss and longing in elusive powerful settings, while drawing heavily on the American discourse of queer culture and gender politics of the late 1980s through 1990s. Beyond formal concerns related to materials and process, Hodges' work is socially-conscious and refreshingly stripped of overbearing didactic function.

Hodges received his M.F.A. in painting from the Pratt Institute in New York in 1986, but shortly thereafter, dismissed the medium, claiming that he was “lost in the hugeness of painting” (Holland Cotter, “Taking Wing in a Time of Extremis”, New York Times, 14 Aug 2014), a move which coincided with his coming out. While Hodges’ works have periodically been read as a lament of the AIDS epidemic, his investigation of mortality and transience through the merging of craft and sculpture have widespread connotations beyond a singular discourse. Light II (Stars) can be considered, in a sense, Hodges’ return to painting or at least to a more traditional formal structure of material on ‘canvas’. But despite the work’s subtle resonance with painting, its sincerity towards craft and use of off-kilter materials place it in a realm of its own, allowing Hodges the freedom of experimentation while continuing to blur the precarious line between inspiration and resignation integral to the artist’s work.

Light II (Stars)
is a prime example of Hodges’ interest in craft-based forms and his ability to transform overlooked materials into compelling and emotionally-saturated visual expressions. Consisting of mirror fragments and silicone mounted to Masonite, the large-scale mosaic is a flattened circular light-and-space fractal covered in a dizzying array of celestial motifs. Spotlighted and placed at various angles, the wall sculpture can be transfigured at will to produce a variety of compounding and ever-changing reflections, enabling both a physical and spiritual extension of Hodges' work into the surrounding environment. While the interplay of light and shadow is central to the work’s completion, the technical mastery of the surface itself is nothing short of astounding.

The psychological impact of the reflected image has been a topic of human intrigue since Narcissus in Greek mythology. This concept of the “self” is a theme that has been tackled by a number of contemporary artists worldwide. Michelangelo Pistoletto, for instance, has focused his artistic career on mirrored works which capture the reflection of the viewer. “Man has always attempted to double himself as a means of attaining self-knowledge” (Michelangelo Pistoletto, Le ultime parole famose, Turin 1967).

Yet while Pistoletto integrates the beholder into the image content, Hodges’ work both obfuscates the reflected self and metaphorizes the very reformation of personality and self-hood through the artist’s process of vigilantly reconstructing the mirror shards into a tight circular form. While the visual intricacies of the pixelated surface become evident with each glance, it is in the hidden and, for Hodges, the cathartic act of piecing together that Light II (Stars), which upholds its most emotional intensity.