Frank Hodgkinson was a noted Australian abstract printmaker, painter and graphic artist.
Hodgkinson’s work became more abstract and expressionist. While his paintings in the 1950s had remained figurative, “with a leaning towards the neo-romantic”, at the end of the decade he developed a “more plastic, painterly abstraction”, according to art historian Bernard Smith (1916–2011). Deep, thick layers of pastes displaying burnt siennas and raw ochres among the blacks and whites provided a dynamic texture. New materials found their way into his paintings. Hodgkinson enjoyed experimenting with molten wax, employed an encaustic technique, but also used oils and polyvinyl acetate, while mixing in materials such as hessian and other matter.
“I like to build a surface, dig into it, penetrate behind the veil of reality, open it up to reveal new sensations of space, then enter and explore it. With every advance from the known to the unknown the mystery increases. It’s a wrestle to extract the mystery, to find the essence of its ecstatic silence,” he wrote to Bernard Smith.