In 1963 when this picture was painted, Frank Hodgkinson was living in Spain. He had been working in Europe for 5 years and had and exhibited with the contemporary Spanish painters including Antonio Tapies and Manolo Millares who would go on to become important figures in world art.
During his time in Spain Hodgkinson’s found use for a variety of different materials in his abstractions nothing organic or mineral was too experimental, as long as they were available and fit the mood of the work – all were used. Sand; saw dust; Hessian; string, mineral or organic he became interested in the materials required to capture image he was pursuing and to introduce various texture into the composition. He developed a feeling for the Spanish culture in the process and his Spanish years have been described as a form of awakening to the freedom of abstraction in a manner in which he’d never experienced before.
Hodgkinson was such an integral part of the Spanish Contemporary Art scene that his work was included in the 1961 exhibition of “Contemporary Spanish Painting” that toured the major cities of Europe including Brussels, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Munich and Milan. And again in 1961 he participated in an exhibition called Twenty Years of Vanguard Painting in Spain held in Madrid. Carlos Antonio Arean wrote in the catalogue “…A painter of many a synthesis, gained intimately from the Spanish painting, Hodgkinson must be considered one of the best connoisseurs of the secrets of the substance and new potentialities of the function of painting existing in Spain.”
His time in Spain was not without its drama and at an official government exhibition of his pictures in Madrid’s Sala del Prado several of the landscape works were considered so erotic that they were censored and removed from exhibition – the censorship drew international attention. Hodgkinson was to remain in Spain until moving to Rome in 1969.
An important painter, Hodgkinson’s Spanish works are considered among his finest.