Frances Hodgkins: Paintings and Drawings

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Auckland University Press, 2001 - Art - 193 pages
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In 1941 John Piper wrote to his fellow artist, New Zealand expatriate Frances Hodgkins, 'Congratualtions on the great achievement of your new works....Thank you for the enormous pleasure and instruction that these new works give.' Recognised by her contemporaries in the 1930s and 1940s as a leading member of the British avant garde and exhibiting frequently with artists like Piper, Paul Nash, Graham Sutherland, Ben Nicholson and Winifred Nicholson, Frances Hodgkins has not hitherto received the detailed attention her work deserves. While art historians are indebted to the biographical studies of E. H. McCormick, this book places its focus on the paintings and drawings of this important artist. It builds upon the growing interest in her work indicated by exhibitions in both New Zealand and Britian in recent years; and on reassessments of other British artists of this period. It also gains from recent sympathetic and perceptive approaches to women artists.
Three extensive essays by leading New Zealand art historians explore in depth the growth and development of Hodgkins's distinctive artistic practice. They show how a colonial watercolourist endowed with determination and courage as well as considerable talent was able to absorb European influences such as Surrealism and Cubism and was responsive to a variety of other inspirations, from child art to abstraction. Hodgkins is seen experimenting in a variety of mediums and styles, an artist working confidently and with growing maturity towards her unique late phase, at its most brilliant in her still-life landscapes.

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About the author (2001)

Michael Dunn is professor and head of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Auckland.

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