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FRANCES HODGKINS

Portraits

16th Sep 2010 - 3rd Apr 2011

"I feel pleasantly anchored….I must look around for something fresh to which I can re-act – touch and see….Something is really happening at last – and yet this, I feel, is only a half-way stage."

Frances Hodgkins, 19 October 1930

 

The centre piece for this exhibition is the stunning recent acquisition The Farmer’s Daughter (Portrait of Annie Coggan). This painting comes from a particularly significant period in Hodgkins’ career, when she set a clear course for the future development of her art and established her reputation.  In the late twenties and thirties Hodgkins also consolidated her early painting experiments into a unified vision where still life, landscape and portraiture could exist on an equal footing in a single image.  From this period her portrait sitters are not only placed in landscape settings, they come to embody the places that they inhabit. 

 

Purchased in the 125th anniversary year of the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, The Farmer’s Daughter (Portrait of Annie Coggan) is both a timely and significant addition to the Gallery’s Hodgkins holdings.  While this Gallery has accumulated one of the most important collections of the artist’s work, it has lacked a portrait in oil of a scale and finesse that this painting epitomizes.  

 

Frances Hodgkins: Portraits brings this recent acquisition into dialogue with a selection of like-minded pictures, which span Hodgkins’ prolific and yet stylistically diverse career.  Drawn from public holdings in Dunedin, this exhibition is an appropriate reminder of the artist’s sustained interest in portraiture and her varied interpretation and investigation of this genre. 

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