Monday morning (but not too early) saw a big group of Friends braving the wind to see an extensive retrospective of the works of Frances Hodgkins in the Adam Gallery at Victoria University of Wellington. Many of the works had previously been exhibited in Auckland, Dunedin and Christchurch. The Adam Gallery allowed for a rather different viewing experience than would have been the case in the bigger galleries. The Adam Art Gallery has three levels. The top and bottom galleries are long alleyways. In the top gallery work is exhibited on one wall while the bottom gallery has works on both walls and the Kirk gallery between them is a room. So the Gallery is ideal for viewing Hodgkins work because the works are not large and you are close up to them. The contrasting spaces also result in a slightly different viewing experience.

The works are in chronological order allowing us to see not only Hodgkins’ travels around Europe and the impact the various locales had on her work but also the way the work itself developed as she experimented with, and developed, new techniques.

We were fortunate to have a fine introduction by Tina Barton, the Adam Gallery director, who, after first outlining Hodgkins’ professional life and practice, then, as we went through the three galleries, drew attention to highlights of her developing art practice.

Many of the Friends said they would return to look more closely at the work in this fine retrospective of work by a significant New Zealand artist.

Koenraad Kuiper.

Friends committee

Note – There is now an additional opportunity to experience this tour as the Adam Gallery have kindly invited us to return with a second group of Friends of Te Papa. Please check our website for details. 

Image credit: Still Life with Eggs and Mushrooms c 1929. Collection of Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton and Hove.