Author: Renee Free
Publishers: Enid Hawkins with Phillip Mathews Book Publishers
Hardcover, dustjacket, sewn, colour and black and white
Frank Hinder's life spans the 20th century, 1906–1992. His work has a range wide in subject matter — Australian life, city and transport, war, theatre, fauna. It has a range wide in styles, including semi-abstract, abstract, representational; and a range wide in media, including pencil, watercolour, tempera, acrylic, oil, luminal kinetics and prints.
His career involved unique training in Dynamic Symmetry in America. He returned to Sydney as a fine draughtsman, aware of modern movements and ready to join the modern artists who had been schooled in Cubism in France.
Hinder is linked with Grace Crowley and Ralph Balson as one of the Sydney Modernists of the 1930s and 1940s. His interest in Dynamism — uniting moments and movements into a single harmonious relationship — distinguished his work. Major pre-war semi-abstracts including Dog Gymkhana, Rhythm – Fishermen Hauling Nets, and P&O Liner Leaving the Quay.
After the war, in which he served in the Camouflage unit, (and painted Bomber Crash from personal experience), he continued his pre-war Wynyard series: he developed it into his major theme of post-war darkness, but with the seeds of illumination and re-emerging beauty and light. This under-ground Wynyard series climaxed with the Subway Escalator in 1953, the year of his most complex semi-abstracts, including Jesus of Nazareth and Wet Night Traffic. In 1952, Hinder won the Blake prize with Flight into Egypt.
During the second half of the 20th century, he devoted himself to abstract art, to make visible modern scientific and philosophic thought. Like philosophers from the Pythagoreans to the present, like scientists from the early Greek thinkers to Einstein and beyond, he believed in the connectedness of everything, in the harmony of the universe. Dynamic Symmetry showed relationship, the design of everything as part of the whole. Light in colour of paint, and then light in rhythms in light boxes, came to symbolise beauty and human intelligence taken to its limits. The final decade saw an integration of semi-abstracts and luminous abstracts in paintings where matter dissolved into energy, vibrations, memory.
More on Frank Hinder can be found on the Frank Hinder website.
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