Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys
developed and toured by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Full gallery

19 Gallery
part of the Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys project
Window gallery

Imogen Taylor and Sue Hillery: Double Portrait
an Adam Art Gallery commission
Congreve Foyer

5 September – 13 December 2020

Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys
Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi is proud to be the last New Zealand venue for Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki’s touring exhibition Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys. Featuring more than 65 works produced between 1901 and 1946, some drawn from private collections in Wellington, this exhibition has been specially reconceived for the gallery’s unique spaces. Curated by Mary Kisler, an acknowledged expert on Hodgkins and her work, this is the culmination of a significant international project to explore the artist’s place in 20th-century art. The exhibition traces Frances Hodgkins’ creative and peripatetic life through France, Morocco and Spain to her final days in England, tracking her unique engagement with modernism, examining the influence of location on her development as a painter, and exploring how travel and journeying served her as sources of artistic inspiration.

Born in Dunedin, Frances Hodgkins (1869–1947) left for Europe in 1901 and, by the late 1920s, had become an important figure within British Modernism, exhibiting with avant-garde artists such as Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. With a professional life that spanned almost six decades, the two World Wars, and periods of massive social and cultural change, Hodgkins caught the spirit of a new age. Today, she is celebrated as one of New Zealand’s most successful expatriate artists of the 20th century, and has an ongoing legacy in both Europe and this country.

Image: Francis Hodgkins, Red Jug, 1931, oil on canvas. Collection of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, purchased 1982.

19 Gallery: Relocating Frances Hodgkins (installation view), Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 2019

19 Gallery
In 1934, London art dealer Sydney Burney commissioned a range of leading British modernist artists to create small-scale works for a miniature gallery, to raise money for the Fund for the Blind. This model gallery became known as the 34 Gallery, symbolising both the year it was created and the number of artworks featured in the display. It included two paintings by Frances Hodgkins. A replica was made in 1997 with 25 of the original paintings, which is on display at Pallant House, Chichester, UK.

In 2019, on the occasion of the major touring exhibition Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki reworked Burney’s concept. 19 Gallery (2019) includes commissioned paintings and sculptures by 19 New Zealand artists invited to respond to the invitation. They are Gretchen Albrecht, Nick Austin, Kirstin Carlin, Vita Cochran, Bronwynne Cornish, Jane Dodd, Nicola Farquhar, Finn Ferrier, Star Gossage, Julian Hooper, Ryder Jones, Areez Katki, Christina Pataialii, Jeena Shin, Richard Stratton, and Isobel Thom, who each made works for the replica of the miniature gallery designed and built by David Kisler.

Imogen Taylor and Sue Hillery, Double Portrait (detail), 2020. Photo: Ted Whitaker.

Imogen Taylor and Sue Hillery: Double Portrait
In 2020, for this presentation of Frances Hodgkins: European Journeys, Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi invited artist Imogen Taylor and architect Sue Hillery to develop a work that draws inspiration from Hodgkins as a new site-specific wall painting for the gallery’s Congreve Foyer. Based on a careful engagement with two paintings by Hodgkins: Double Portrait (Friends), (1925) and Wings over Water, (1931–2), their work adds one more to the lineup of contemporary practitioners in 19 Gallery who have responded to their modernist forbear. Subtly referencing Hodgkins’ palette and her choice of subjects, this new wall painting extends Taylor’s efforts to ‘queer’ space, adapting a new visual language developed from iconography like the screw thread she has used in earlier works and Maoriculpus Roseus shells with their long screw-like bodies that are abundant on Dunedin’s—Hodgkin’s home town—beaches, particularly Aramoana, that generate allusions to female sexuality and queer desire.

The idea to invite Taylor and Hillery was inspired by the wall painting they made for the exhibition Sapphic Fragments (1 February – 28 March 2020) at the Hocken Gallery at the end of Taylor’s residency as University of Otago’s 2019 Frances Hodgkins Fellow, and her recent work in Fire-lit Kettle at Enjoy Contemporary Art Space in Wellington (19 June – 25 July 2020). The pair have also partnered to develop spatial design and architectural interventions for Taylor’s solo-exhibition Ōtepoti; Betwixt and Between (2019) at Michael Lett Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau, and the group exhibition Pocket Histories at Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, Tāmaki Makaurau (2018) and The Dowse Art Museum, Te Awakairangi (2018).

Imogen Taylor (born 1985, Whangarei) is recognised for her paintings that relitigate a history of modern art through a queer lens. Since graduating from the Elam School of Fine Arts with a Post-graduate Diploma in Fine Arts in 2010, Taylor has exhibited widely throughout New Zealand and has enjoyed significant successes, including receiving the Paramount Award at the Wallace Trust Art Awards (2018), a McCahon House Residency (2017), and an invitation to be studio artist at the Corban Estate Art Centre. She is represented by Michael Lett, Auckland.

Sue Hillery studied sculpture at Ilam School of Fine Arts, graduating in 1991, before completing a Bachelor of Architecture in 2001 at the University of Auckland (1st Class Honours). Initially establishing a solo architecture practice, Hillery then partnered with architect Richard Priest to form Hillery Priest Architecture from 2006-2012. Throughout her career Hillery has maintained strong ties to the art world, having sat on the board of artist-run gallery Teststrip from 1992-7 and having continued to work on a number of joint projects with artists.

View the media release for these exhibitions here:
‘Adam Art Gallery presents unique version of Frances Hodgkins survey show’, 1 September 2020

Listen on RNZ: ‘Curator Mary Kisler: tiny art inspired by Frances Hodgkins’

Download public programme here