Artistic Collaborations Made In Heaven Go Under The Hammer

Three Robs: Artist, Collaborator, Friend is a celebration of one of the country's foremost artists, Robert Hodgins. Some of his most special works, including collaborations with eminent friends, are on auction.

By Tayla Sassen

Even after his passing in 2010, Robert Hodgins continues to inspire those he leaves behind. As a much-loved artist, teacher and critic, Hodgins will be memorialised in a premier, exclusive sale held by Strauss & Co. Comprised of some 40 lots, the sale titled Three Robs: Artist, Collaborator, Friend will be held on Wednesday, 9 November 2022, concluding Strauss & Co’s programme for Johannesburg Auction Week.

In addition to the oil paintings Hodgins is famous for, there will also be a selection of rare watercolours, monotypes, pastels and drawings on sale by the multifaceted and influential artist. Organised by Wilhelm van Rensburg, Senior Art Specialist and Head Curator at Strauss & Co, the sale will include works Hodgins made in collaboration with Sarah Ballam, Deborah Bell, Kendell Geers, William Kentridge, Jan Neethling and Sam Nhlengethwa.

“Robert embraced uncertainty, risk and experimentation. Three Robs will provide collectors with a unique insight into the processes as an artist who was perpetually in conversation with art history,” says van Rensburg.


Born in London in 1920, Hodgins’ love for art was apparent both at school and at college. Before settling permanently in South Africa in 1953, Hodgins studied painting at Goldsmiths’ College. He then spread his love of art with his students, holding influential posts at both the Pretoria College of Art and the University of the Witwatersrand.

While Hodgins briefly pursued an exhibition career, he turned to teaching and writing until the 1980s when he decided to return to painting. In this period of his ‘retirement’, he created bold pieces inspired by the likes of Frances Bacon, David Hockney and Philip Guston. The Three Robs: Artist, Collaborator, Friend will feature works from this renaissance period of Hodgins’ life.

Strauss & Co experts will offer walkabouts on 5 and 6 November at 89 Central Street, Houghton. Visit www.straussart.co.za for more info.

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