Artwork by Thomas Sherlock Hodgson,  Manganese Blue
Thumbnail of Artwork by Thomas Sherlock Hodgson,  Manganese Blue Thumbnail of Artwork by Thomas Sherlock Hodgson,  Manganese Blue Thumbnail of Artwork by Thomas Sherlock Hodgson,  Manganese Blue

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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

Tom Hodgson
Manganese Blue

oil and metal eyelets on canvas
signed lower right; dated 1977 upper right
57.25 x 57.25 ins ( 145.4 x 145.4 cms )

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Collection of the artist
Art Rental Service of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Merton Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Ontario
David G. Taylor, “Tom Hodgson: An Exhibition Organized by The Lynnwood Arts Centre”, Simcoe, Ontario, 1988, page 20
Throughout the 1970s, Hodgson focused on experimental and innovative compositions. He strove for inherent creativity in these self-professed “process paintings” and explained their development in his self-published book, “Creativity is Change.” David G. Taylor explains: “’Process’ in Hodgson’s mind, meant two different things, although related things. First, it meant the act of doing. Traditionally, paintings were considered an end product in themselves, but to Hodgson, it was the route which one took to get to that end that was as important as the end itself. Hodgson’s second meaning of process meant the active participation of the viewer in the creative process.”
Colour and texture are employed differently in this period of Hodgson’s oeuvre. Texture and shape are quintessential in “Manganese Blue”, emphasized by the metal eyelets layered on the white lines that vigorously sweep around the composition and intersect with the geometric forms. Manganese, a hard-gray metal and an important component of special steels, is accurately represented by the very thin blue paint. It flows into the swaths of red that appear almost washed out. Consistently stimulated by new challenges, Hodgson created ‘sight sensations’, demonstrating his capacity to be both highly experimental and innovative throughout his artistic career.
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Cowley Abbott
326 Dundas St West
Toronto ON M5T 1G5
Ph. 1(416)479-9703

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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