Contemporary Art

Live Auction, 16 February 2019

Contemporary Auction
  • Robert Hodgins; God is Love

Lot Estimate
ZAR 450 000 - 600 000

About this Item

South African 1920-2010
God is Love

signed and dated 2009 on the reverse and inscribed with the title on the stretcher; signed by Jan Neethling, dated 2013 and inscribed ‘This painting was begun by Robert Hodgins in 2007 and after two years working intermittently he asked Jan Neethling to complete the surface with lettering in 2009’ on the reverse.

oil on canvas
90 by 120cm excluding frame


Familiar icons of malevolent characters typically inhabit Hodgins’s paintings and are both tempered and aggravated by his mastery of colour and texture. In this instance, he starkly casts the televangelists and self-styled redeemers Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker as the ungodly, the fallen from grace. He clads the outrageously extravagant and dissolute duo in shocking pinks which he then dramatically offsets against the deep teal green table. Their ‘halos’ are the mordant boxed in and stencilled words ‘God is Love’ and ‘HE will provide’, the latter jutting out of the frame.

‘Robert Hodgins knows that image and text function powerfully as mutually invested entities … Hodgins inhabits and deploys language with an almost tactile delight.’1

  1. Brenda Atkinson. (2002) New Loves, Old Affairs: An introduction to the work of Robert Hodgins, in Robert Hodgins, Cape Town: Tafelberg. Page 14


Goodman Gallery, Johannesburg, Robert Hodgins: Looking Back, 13 April – 11 May 2013.

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