Artwork by Thomas Sherlock Hodgson,  Two x Red + Yellow

Tom Hodgson
Two x Red + Yellow

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1987 lower left; unframed
65 x 90 ins ( 165.1 x 228.6 cms )

Auction Estimate: $10,000.00$8,000.00 - $10,000.00

Price Realized $16,520.00
Sale date: May 29th 2018

Collection of the artist
Acquired directly from the artist
By descent to the present Private Collection, Toronto
Tom Hodgson, the Lynnwood Arts Centre, Simcoe, Ontario, travelling to Koffler Gallery, Toronto; Art Gallery of Peterborough; Oakville Galleries; Brampton Public Library & Art Gallery; Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa; Rodman Hall Arts Centre, St. Catharines; Tom Thomson Memorial Gallery, Owen Sound; and Grimsby Public Art Gallery, November 1988 - December 1989, no. 18
David G. Taylor, Tom Hodgson, exhibition catalogue, November 1988 - December 1989, reproduced page 45
Iris Nowell, Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art, Vancouver/Toronto, 2010, pages 10-11
Tom Hodgson had one of the most enduring careers in abstract expressionism within Canada. A member of the Painter’s Eleven, the artist’s dynamic and bold abstract works helped change and shape the landscape of painting within Canada. Often favouring bright bold contrasting colour palettes which emphasized the energy and movement of form and medium, Hodgson experimented throughout his career with various art movements while maintaining his signature energy and movement on the canvas.

During the 1970s and 80s, Hodgson took a step back from the art world. Though still producing large works and experimenting, the artist retreated from the hectic environment of the art ecosystem. “Two x Red + Yellow” exhibits Tom Hodgson’s later approach to abstraction with large strokes of paint on the canvas anchored at the corners of the composition. The watery aqua blue background contrasts with the bright pops of fuchsia and marigold with various palette knives and brushstrokes used to build up raised textures and reliefs. There appears to be a sort of sculptural element in play with these later works as the artist’s moves into his late career phase of production.

Exhibiting with the then-new Christopher Cutts Gallery in 1990, art critic Christopher Hume noted on these works from the late 1980s: “The pieces are large-format and tremendously self-assured. As abstract as they get, they remain remarkable and obvious examples of the craft of painting. The way this man moves and mixes acrylics is sheer bravura.”

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Thomas Sherlock Hodgson
(1924 - 2006) Painters Eleven

Born in Toronto, Ontario, he studied in Toronto at the Central Technical School, 1939-42. During the Second World War he served with the R.C.A.F. overseas and on his return to civilian life resumed his studies in art at the Ontario College of Art where he graduated in 1946. He joined the staff of an advertising agency as assistant to the art director until he entered the field of commercial art. In 1956 he became a teacher for the Artists Workshop, Toronto. But while he was developing in his artistic career he was excelling in athletics and was on the Canadian Olympic paddling team (1952 and 1956).

Back in Toronto he joined with a group of artists which included Jack Bush, Oscar Cahén, Alexandra Luke, J.W.G. MacDonald, Ray Mead, Kazuo Nakamura, William Ronald, Harold Town, Walter Yarwood and Hortense Gordon who were interested in non-objective painting. This group decided to call themselves Painters Eleven and they brought non-objective painting too Ontario in a big way. Hodgson was particularly influenced by one of them, Oscar Cahén, who, like Hodgson was a commercial artist in search of freedom and adventure in painting. Perhaps more than anything it was Cahén’s colour juxtapositions which greatly influenced Hodgson. Solo exhibitions by Hodgson were held in 1954, 1956 and 1957 (at the Gallery of Contemporary Art).

In 1958 Hugo McPherson in his article on Toronto’s visor and new life in painting, noted Hodgson among the good painters of that city. In 1961 Hodgson with 23 other artists, was featured in an issue of Canadian Art magazine and noted by Robert Fulford as follows, “A Hodgson canvas seems to storm over us, filling our eyes with its swarm of apparently unrelated images. It is not until long after our first glimpse of the work that its organization and structure become apparent… We begin to see that the strange colours are not only the result of a rather eccentric colour sense but also are the result of space and light.”

His later exhibitions revealed his interest in pop art and the female figure (exhibited at Albert White Galleries, Toronto, 1965) and he continued to achieve greater success in his oils which were shown at Needham, Harper and Streets of Canada, Toronto, 1967. His work is included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the University of British Columbia. He was a member of the Ontario Society of Artists (1954), Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (1954), Canadian Group of Painters (1956) and an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy (1962). He lived in Toronto.

Source: "A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume II”, compiled by Colin S. MacDonald, Canadian Paperbacks Publishing Ltd, Ottawa, 1979