Frances Hodgkins

Frances Mary Hodgkins (28 April 1869 – 13 May 1947) was a painter chiefly of landscape and still life, and for a short period was a designer of textiles. She was born in New Zealand, but spent most of her working life in Britain. She is considered one of New Zealand's most prestigious and influential painters, although it is the work from her life in Europe, rather than her home country, on which her reputation rests.





 Hodgkins was born in Dunedin, New Zealand in 1869, the daughter of W. M. Hodgkins, a lawyer, amateur painter, and a leading figure in the city's art circles.
In 1901 she left New Zealand for Europe, travelling to Britain but also visiting France, the Netherlands, Italy and Morocco in the company of Dorothy Kate Richmond; whom she described as "the dearest woman with the most beautiful face and expression. I am a lucky beggar to have her as a travelling companion."While in Britain she intermittently met up with Margaret Stoddart, another expatiate artist.She returned to New Zealand and established a studio in Wellington, where she held a joint exhibition with Richmond in 1904. Among her pupils was Edith Kate Bendall, lover of Katherine Mansfield. In the same year Hodgkins became engaged to a British man, T. Boughton Wilby, after the briefest of courtships. She planned to go overseas to marry him, but the engagement was broken off at the last moment for unknown reasons.
Frances Hodgkins with her brother-in-law, William Field






 From the late 1920s she began to develop her own style, characterised by strong use of colour and lyrical treatment of form. In 1929 she joined the Seven and Five Society and worked alongside younger artists including Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Henry Moore. In 1930, it is said, she was the person who finally "goaded" her friend Lucy Wertheim into opening her gallery in London to exhibit "artists who had not yet arrived".During the 1930s Hodgkins exhibited with many important London galleries and gained a contract from the Lefevre Gallery to produce work for a full-scale exhibition every second year. In 1934 she became a painting companion of fellow New Zealand artist Maude Burge and painted at Burge's garden in Saint-Tropez.In 1939 she was invited to represent Britain at the 1940 Venice Biennale, but wartime travel restrictions meant that her work could not be transported to Venice.She was highly considered among British avant-garde society and by the later stages of her career was known as a key figure in British Modernism.




 Because of World War II she spent the rest of her life in Britain. She continued to paint into her seventies, despite suffering from rheumatism and bronchitis. She died in Dorchester, Dorset on 13 May 1947. When she died she was regarded as one of Britain’s leading artists. In 1948 Myfanwy Evans (later Piper) wrote a study entitled Frances Hodgkins, as part of the 'Penguin Modern Painters' series.
Frances Hodgkins is most admired for the freely painted works of her later life. She is an artistic descendant of Henri Matisse and a lyrical colourist.Wikipedia




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