The life of Frances Hodgkins was full of adventure, involving both physical and artistic journeys in which she crossed hemispheres, cultures, epochs and styles. She took huge risks, had intense focus and exhibited enormous vitality. An encourager of young artists, she attracted ardent, unstinting support herself, yet she also suffered hurtful dismissals. Hodgkins worked with and was highly regarded by such well-known artists as Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Ben and Winifred Nicholson - and she became a leading figure of twentieth century British Modernism. She is one of the most internationally significant New Zealand-born artists to date. In FRANCES HODGKINS: A PRIVATE VIEWING, art historian Dr Joanne Drayton captures Hodgkins's life vividly, drawing on the artist's extensive correspondence with close friends and family on the other side of the world. She critiques individual works (many shown here in full colour) and surveys Hodgkins's entire career, displaying her unique achievements in their proper international context.
The result is a beautiful, compelling and highly readable book that is indeed a private viewing: it offers a sense of immediacy and intimacy and yet also the first comprehensive exploration of Frances Hodgkins.
Joanne Drayton was educated in Christchurch, graduated from University of Canterbury with a PhD in 2000. She is the author of two widely-acclaimed biographies of woman artists: 'Edith Collier: Her Life and Work, 1885-1964' (1999) and 'Rhona Haszard: An Experimental Expatriate New Zealand Artist' (2002), and has curated the recent touring exhibitions of Collier's and Haszard's work. She has published numerous papers on art history, has taught the subject since 1981, and is currently a senior lecurer in art and design history and theory in the School of Design at UNITEC.