Frank Hinder 
Australia 1906–1992, worked in United States 1931–34

In Sydney during the 1930s a small group of like-minded progressive artists banded together for mutual support within an environment largely hostile to modern art. Their exchange of ideas resulted in the first coherent and sustained movement towards abstraction in this country, and nurtured an unprecedented level of artistic experimentation.

From 1934 to 1938 French-trained Grace Crowley, English-trained Rah Fizelle, American-trained Frank Hinder and Ralph Balson (who had not studied overseas) worked closely together, sharing their knowledge of modern art gained through years of study overseas and their continuing engagement with international developments in contemporary art. In 1937 these artists, together with several other members (most notably the German art historian Eleonore Lange)1Lange had studied sculpture, optics and aesthetics at the School of Applied Arts, Frankfurt. She came to Australia in 1930 and lectured widely on art, becoming a prominent advocate of modernism (see Geoffrey Batchem, ‘Blueprints of creation’, Art and Text, no. 39, May 1991, pp. 18–19). drew up a manifesto of shared aims and began planning a group exhibition. It is within this environment that in 1937 Frank Hinder created Four-in-one-bird (moving) (fig. 7a–d), the first collaged, low-relief construction and one of the first kinetic works by an Australian artist, and a significant early example of abstraction. Remarkably, it has not been recognised as such in any account of Australian art, an omission that can be explained by its invisibility from public view for many years.2However, it was recognised as such by NGV Curator of Australian Art Jennifer Phipps who wrote to Hinder shortly after the work was acquired: ‘the painting/kinetic surely must be Australia’s first kinetic sculpture’ (NGV artist file, 5 January 1982, folio 10).

Origins uncovered

Hinder is widely acknowledged as a pioneer of kinetic art in Australia for his luminal kinetics of the late 1960s, but Four-in-one-bird (moving) has remained largely unknown within the history of Australian modernism.3The work has been reproduced and discussed twice in Renée Free & John Henshaw, ‘The art of Frank Hinder’ [unpublished manuscript ,2008]; Lesley Harding & Sue Cramer, Cubism & Australian Art, Miegunyah, Melbourne, 2009, p. 142. It was included in the Frank and Margel Hinder retrospective at the Art Gallery of New South Wales in 1980 and subsequently acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in 1981, yet the work was not exhibited again until the 2009 exhibition Cubism in Australia at Heide Museum of Modern Art. This paper seeks to examine the origins of this work and to establish its importance as a key work of Australian modernism.

While the various sources for Four-in-one-bird (moving) can be untangled and traced back to earlier European cubism and kinetic art, the work nevertheless grew out of the unique conditions of Australian modernism of the 1930s, characterised by hybridity and eclecticism. Rather than a late manifestation of ideas originating from cubism in Europe in the first decades of the twentieth century, it can more productively be considered as a prime exemplar of a locally generated modernism, a work which has international precursors but could only have been created within the particular environment of art in Sydney during the 1930s. Four-in-one-bird (moving) can also claim a place within an international chronology of the development of abstraction and kinetic art and, as such, adds to our understanding of the extent of avant-garde practice in Australia at this time.

From collage to kinetic

Before considering the origin of Four-in-one-bird (moving) it is important to examine the dating of the various elements of this work and the changes made to it by the artist. In its present state it consists of a central rectangular, low-relief collage mounted in front of a square backing panel. The collaged panel rotates in an anti-clockwise direction, pausing in four positions (12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock). The work is driven by a small electric motor mounted behind the backing panel and the whole work is encased within a perspex box.

The element of Four-in-one-bird (moving) dating to 1937 is the rectangular low-relief collage. This dating is supported by Hinder’s signing of the work ‘1937–79’ and confirmed by Hinder’s address of Wollstonecraft (where he lived from 1935 until 1945) which was inscribed by the artist on the back of this panel and discovered when the work was dismantled for conservation treatment in 2009.

The clear acrylic case and electric motor were added by Hinder during 1979–80 when he was preparing Four-in-one-bird (moving) for inclusion in his AGNSW retrospective.4Frank and Margel Hinder 1930–1980, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 12 June – 13 July 1980. The square supporting panel is also a later addition and recent analysis by NGV conservator Raye Collins has shown that a synthetic paint has been used.5Raye Collins, ‘On the mend: NGV conservation’, Gallery, July–August 2009, p. 23. It has not been possible to confirm whether this simply replaced an earlier panel or whether it is a completely new design dating from 1979–80. Certainly the simple geometric image of a circle within a square and the flat application of paint recall the hard-edge abstraction of the late 1960s and 1970s, suggesting that it is an entirely new conception for the background panel dating from 1979–80.

While the electric motor was added only in 1980 in time for the AGNSW retro-spective,6An inscription on the box covering the motor reads: ‘F. C. HINDR. [sic] / MECHNIZED [sic] -79-80’. in a statement from this time Hinder confirmed that the collaged panel was always intended to rotate and to be seen in four positions:

I mounted it on a panel and it was turned by hand – we could not afford to have it mechanically operated and nor was there any interest in such absurdities. Over the years I have occasionally pulled it out of storage and considered throwing it out but, since the war and with the availability of materials – Perspex, motors of all sizes and descriptions etc., plus my interest in kinetics, I decided to make it work as originally planned.7Frank Hinder, 16 September 1981, NGV artist file, folio 7–8.

American influences

The design for the central image of the collage relief panel originated in a 1933 life drawing of the breasts and shoulders of a female that Hinder produced while living in America. Hinder is unusual for artists of his generation in that while most chose to continue their studies in London or Paris, in 1927 Hinder left Sydney for America where he studied commercial design at the Art Institute of Chicago. By 1929, feeling dissatisfied, he moved to New York and began studying with Howard Giles and Emil Bisttram at the New York School of Fine and Applied Art and then at the Master Institute of the Roerich Museum in New York from 1930 until 1931. Both Giles and Bisttram had been profoundly influenced by Jay Hambidge’s theory of pictorial construction based upon dynamic symmetry, which they imparted to their students and which became the cornerstone of Hinder’s artistic development.8For an account of Hinder’s studies in America, see John Henshaw, Frank Hinder Lithographs, Langridge, Sydney, 1978.

In 1981 Hinder presented to the NGV four of the earliest pencil studies done in Boston on which Four-in-one-bird (moving) was based. They have been carefully selected by the artist as a demonstration of the stages of developing an abstract composition according to Giles and Bisttram’s teaching.

In the earliest drawing, dated 1933 (fig. 1), we see that Hinder has begun to simplify the life drawing into geometric shapes: ‘You could do it [drawing of a nude] free-hand to start with, but then you were encouraged to use set squares and compasses and relate things in a geometrical manner’.9Frank Hinder, interview with Dinah Dysart, ‘Frank & Margel Hinder’, Art + Australia, vol. 29, no. 3, 1992, p. 340.

The next drawing (fig. 2) shows Hinder further abstracting by joining points of the composition with curved lines and reducing areas of shading to indicate volume into flat planes. At the following stage Hinder (fig. 3) makes the decision to invert his composition, something that Bisttram encouraged his students to do in order to create an abstract design, and this work has a directional arrow on the verso, indicating which way is up, and is signed and dated twice in both directions. Hinder considered that his earliest abstract works were done in 1933 using this method: ‘In Boston I was taking more liberties with the nude. The human figure became a jumping off point for the development of representational or surrealist ways’.10Hinder, quoted in Free & Henshaw, p. 30. The last drawing of the sequence (fig. 4) is further simplified and appears as a completely abstract composition.11While initially catalogued as dating from 1933, this drawing on tracing paper is now thought to date from 1937 and to have been used as the template for the 1937 gouaches.

Early Sydney modernists join forces

In August 1934 Hinder returned to Sydney together with his American wife, the sculptor Margel. Within a small and conservative art world, Hinder soon met the only other artist in Sydney who had significant experience with abstraction. Grace Crowley, fifteen years Hinder’s senior, returned to Australia in 1930 after four years of living and studying in France where she studied cubism with André Lhote and was introduced to the post-cubist abstraction of Albert Gleizes.

In 1932 Crowley, together with Rah Fizelle, opened an art school devoted to modern art at 215a George Street in the Rocks. An informal sketch club was held one evening a week to draw from a model and on Saturdays, Crowley, Fizelle and Balson would paint together. In late 1934 Hinder joined this group, recalling:

Fizelle, Crowley and Balson were in our group. And Eleonore Lange. And Gerald and Margo Lewers when they came back. Fizelle’s studio was a centre and people used to drop in from Melbourne or overseas. It was a very gregarious group and very hostile to capitalism.12Hinder, interviewed p. 341.

All modernists, these artists were particularly interested in what they referred to as the ‘constructive’ approach to art; broadly speaking, a post-cubist interest in structure and abstraction rather than in the post-impressionistic modernism evident in the work of other Sydney artists of the time. Both Crowley and Hinder corresponded with artists overseas and the group shared and discussed books and journals of modern art coming out of England, Europe and America.

Defending the contemporary

Hinder later considered the 1930s and 1940s to be the most stimulating period of his life:

We came back to Australia in 1934. There was nothing doing here but there was always something to kick about … We had something to fight against – people like Lionel Lindsay and Howard Ashton. We had to defend everything that was contemporary.13ibid.

By 1937 the group decided to formalise their association by instituting regular meetings, possibly spurred on by the increasingly polemic debate about modernism within the broader art world.14Within a broader context of Australian art, 1937 marks the highpoint of the bitter division between conservative and modernist factions in Australia with the establishment of the Australian Academy of Art and the formation of the first Contemporary Art Society in Melbourne. Hinder was actively involved in these debates and was a founding member of the Contemporary Art Society in Sydney in 1940. On 27 June 1937 the first meeting with Grace Crowley as the chair was held in the Crowley-Fizelle school. The group drew up a manifesto of expressing its commitment to abstraction:

Aim of the group:

The Science of Design in relation to the Pictorial plane, either expressed through Colour or through Geometrical Areas, and, when receding planes are introduced, they are expressed in relationship to the pictorial plane.

In Sculpture the same problem is expressed in the relationship of shapes to the entire volume.

The group also began to discuss an exhibition intended to showcase the abstract direction of its members’ art.15A handwritten note in Hinder’s papers lists the potential exhibitors as Grace Crowley, Ralph Balson, Wilfrid Peisley, Dora Chapman, James Cant, Ronald Steuart, Alistair Morrison, Gordon Andrews, Frank Hinder, Gerald Lewers, Margel Hinder, Lyndon Dadswell (with a question mark behind his name), Rah Fizelle and (illegible). Frank Hinder archive, AGNSW, 2.2, ‘Extracts from philosophers, artists and scientists’.

Clearly 1937 was a critical year for all of these artists, and a definite move towards abstraction becomes evident in the work of Crowley and Balson from this time. Hinder had already been producing completely abstract drawings and watercolours from as early as 1933 in America and his first solo exhibition in Sydney in May 1937 included several abstract works that were among the first to be exhibited in Australia.16Frank Hinder, Grosvenor Gallery, 219 George Street Sydney, 13–27 May 1937. The exhibition included works with the titles Abstraction, Composition, Construction. The show was hostilely received in some quarters, with Hinder later claiming that his works had been spat upon (Hinder, interview, p. 341).

Furthering abstraction

Hinder also pushed his work into a new and experimental direction.17An entry in Frank Hinder’s diary from 1938 shows that Hinder was also interested in the development of colour organs (Hinder archive, AGNSW, 2.1, typescript of Hinder’s manuscript ‘Our gallery daze’, 17 August 1938. Sometime during 1937, most probably after his solo show in May at the Grosvenor Gallery, he returned to his 1933 drawings as the starting point for Four-in-one-bird (moving). In four gouache studies of 1937, which Hinder presented to the NGV in 1981, he explores combinations of colour and texture to further abstract the image (figs 5 & 6). In one of these gouaches the artist has simulated a woodgrain texture, indicating that he may already have been thinking along the lines of a collage-like method of construction. According to Hinder, ‘it was whilst doing several of these that the “bird” idea took root and was carried further, this [Four-in-one-bird (moving)] being the final result’.18Hinder, 16 September 1981, NGV artist file, folio 7–8. This bird imagery is very apparent in the final collage panel, although in the four NGV gouaches this has not yet been fully developed.

The final design of the relief collage has evolved substantially from the gouaches. In addition to the bird iconography, the design is very clearly based upon the flowing continuity of the logarithmic spiral, the basis of dynamic symmetry, with its generating nucleus and outwardly spiralling forms.19Similarly Hinder’s many semi-abstract works of fishermen hauling nets at Lake Conjola from 1938 to 1939, are based upon the same spiralling movement. It is only the outline and placement of the left breast and nipple which link back to the nude studies of 1933 from which the imagery was derived. Yet the visual allusion in the final work is not to a female nude but to a bird with beak and feathers (figs 7a–d ).

An abstracted bird

When the collage panel is in the same vertical position as in the gouaches, the image appears completely abstract but, when the panel rotates to a horizontal position, it can be read as an image of a bird pecking the ground. When rotated again, we see the same bird in an upright position. In the final horizontal rotation, we see a sitting pelican with a large bill and billowing breast, and art historian Renée Free notes that Four-in-one-bird (moving) was also known as Pelican.20Free & Henshaw, p. 61. Clearly, Hinder’s intention was to create an image that could be read in four positions by physically rotating the panel.

Hinder has used the principles of cubist collage for the construction of Four-in-one-bird (moving), combining cut-out pieces of composition board, sandpaper, and dowels to provide contrasting textures and low-relief elements upon a plywood support.21This is apparently Hinder’s first sculptural work, although in America he had created several inlay veneer panels, three of which were included in his 1937 Grosvenor exhibition. One of these Wilderness (Moses) is reproduced in Free & Henshaw, p. 2. He has then added colour with oil paint and further texture has been incorporated by scoring criss-cross patterns into the plywood sections. There is no sense of overlapping planes or depth; rather, the work has a flatness reminiscent of the synthetic cubist still-lifes of Juan Gris and Georges Braque. In Four-in-one-bird (moving) Hinder looked back to the example of early cubist and constructivist sculpture, particularly to the polychrome, low-relief sculpto-peintures of Alexander Archipenko begun around 1914.

Pressing buttons in New York

Archipenko was living in the US from 1923 and it is possible that Hinder saw his work while in America (he certainly had seen sculpture by Naum Gabo and Antoine Pevsner in Boston). However, Hinder would certainly have known of Archipenko’s work through reproductions in books which we know he either owned or could access readily. Archipenko’s The bather, 1915 (Philadelphia Museum of Art), was reproduced in Alfred Barr’s Cubism and Abstract Art published in 1936, and Hinder would also have seen the relief constructions of Kurt Schwitters and Rudolf Belling reproduced in Herbert Read’s Art Now, first published in 1933.

Renée Free has written that the source for Four-in-one-bird (moving) was Archipenko’s Peinture changeant of 1924, also known as Archipentura, one of the earliest mechanised artworks.22Free & Henshaw p. 61. While Free does not expand her reasons for this, a typed copy of a description of the work (unfortunately not dated) is pasted into Hinder’s scrapbook, which was begun while he was living in America.23Frank Hinder archive, AGNSW, 2.2, ‘Extracts from philosophers, artists and scientists’. Hinder possibly learnt about Archipentura, first exhibited at the Anderson Gallery in New York in 1928, while studying in New York from late 1928 onwards.

In a cutting in his scrapbook, Archipentura is described as

a screen on which is painted a study of pure abstract form. Archipenko presses a button, a rapid purring buzz is heard and the abstract form begins gradually to change assuming concrete shape. In the course of 3 or 4 minutes the transformation proceeds through most of the phases of the female body.24Quoted in Free & Henshaw, p. 61.

It is this sequential transformation of imagery from abstraction to represent-ation through physical movement that connects Archipenko’s work to Hinder’s.

Cubist connections at home and away

Another important stimulus to the kinetic and, in this way, temporal aspect of Four-in-one-bird (moving) may have been the theories of the French artist and theoretician Albert Gleizes to which Hinder was introduced through his friendship with Grace Crowley.25John Henshaw writes: ‘It was Grace Crowley who introduced him to the elements of Cubism she had studied with Gleizes in Paris in the late twenties’, in John Henshaw, Frank Hinder Lithographs, Langridge, Sydney, 1978, p. 15. Certainly the years 1937 and 1938 were the highpoint of the close association between Hinder and Crowley, and her influence upon him was not limited to transmitting Gleizes’ theories but also in several works of this time we see very clearly the classicising tendencies of Crowley’s other cubist teacher, André Lhote.26Free & Henshaw, p. 48.

Crowley had met Gleizes and taken several lessons from him in Paris, and spent several weeks at his artists’ colony at Moly-Sabata near Serrières, south of Lyon, in 1929.27See Elena Taylor, Grace Crowley: Being Modern, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2006, p. 27. This connection to Gleizes was maintained throughout the 1930s via Crowley’s correspondence with her close friend Anne Dangar who had joined Gleizes’s community in 1930.28See Helen Topliss (ed.), Earth, Fire, Water, Air: Anne Dangar’s Letters to Grace Crowley, 1930–1951, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 2000. Crowley had brought back to Australia two series of small gouache studies she had done with Gleizes in 1929 and the visual similarities between one of these groups of four works (figs 8 & 9) and Four-in-one-bird (moving) are remarkable. Following Gleizes’s instruction, Crowley’s gouaches are based upon a structure of curved shapes defined by flat colours and textures and most strikingly, this group of gouaches also has bird imagery. Certainly, there are no precursors in Hinder’s work to the use of opaque colour and decorative texture in this manner.29A similar exploration of colour and texture appears in one other known work from this time, Hinder’s slightly later cubist oil painting Still life, 1939 (collection AGNSW).

Crowley’s gouache studies are exercises in Gleizes’s pictorial theories of tran-slation-rotation, which he first articulated in La Peinture et ses lois (Paris 1923). Translation was the lateral movement of planes to express the third dimension of space, while rotation was the rhythmic circular movement of planes around an axis to express time (the fourth dimension).30See Peter Brooke, Albert Gleizes: For and Against the Twentieth Century, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2001, pp. 96–7. In 1934 Anne Dangar had written to Crowley that ‘Monsieur Gleizes writes and talks of le temps all the time now … What is “time” in a picture? … I think time is really expressed by the continual circular movement of all time’.31Letter, 4 January 1934, in Topliss (ed.), p. 116. In another letter she continued: ‘Time’s movement is circular – dawn, noon, night, spring, summer, autumn, winter, the regular recurrence of tides, the moon’s monthly visitation’.32Quoted in Mary Eagle, Australian Modern Painting between the Wars 1914–1939, Bay Books, Sydney, 1989, p. 143. The physical rotation of the collage panel of Four-in-one-bird (moving) can be seen as paralleling Gleizes’s theory of the rotation of forms and similarly, through the use of circular rhythmic movement, Hinder represents time unfolding through motion.

As far as it is known, Hinder did not make any other kinetic work at this time and an unanswered question is whether Four-in-one-bird (moving) was ever exhibited prior to the 1981 retrospective. It does not appear in the catalogue of Hinder’s 1937 solo exhibition at the Grosvenor Galleries, nor in the group exhibitions that included Hinder during the late 1930s and early 1940s. It is not mentioned in any reviews and it seems very unlikely that, should it have been exhibited, it would not have attracted any comment. Hinder’s intention to exhibit it, however, is borne out by the inscription on the back panel ‘NOT FOR SALE’ and ‘10 gns’, while the accompanying address of Morton Street, Wollstonecraft, dates this inscription to before 1945 when the Hinders left this address. It is possible that it was submitted and rejected for exhibition (in 1936 Hinder had five works rejected by the Society of Artists) but it is doubtful whether Hinder would have considered submitting such a significant work to a group exhibition. I would suggest that the most likely exhibition for which this work was intended was Exhibition 1, the showcase for the Crowley, Fizelle, Balson, Hinder group, conceived during the heady days of 1937, although not eventuating until September 1939.33Exhibition 1: Paintings and Sculptures, David Jones’ Art Gallery, Sydney, 17 August – 2 September 1939.

Group tensions in Sydney

By 1939, however, the once close-knit group was no more; driven apart by the disintegration of key personal relationships. In late 1937 Crowley and Fizelle ended their relationship and closed the school. From this time on Crowley and Balson became increasingly close, painting together in her studio at 227 George Street on weekends where they were joined for a short time by Hinder. However, tensions also arose between Balson and Hinder, and Renée Free relates the story of the incident which led to the falling out between Hinder and Balson in 1938.34Free & Henshaw, p. 66. Despite the uneasy relationships that existed between various members of the group, the artists continued with their plans for a group exhibition. It is possible to speculate that the mounting friction within the group may have been a cause for Hinder not to include such an extraordinary work as Four-in-one-bird (moving) in an exhibition conceived as a manifesto statement of the group’s shared aims.

Hinder did not continue along the cubist and sculptural kinetic path so confidently set out in Four-in-one-bird (moving), but the work nevertheless remains consistent with his lifelong fascination with expressing movement in his art.35Hinder, interviewed p. 341. It was to be another thirty years before Hinder again incorporated physical movement into his works, although his exquisite luminal kinetic works of the late 1960s are not derived from the same cubist origins and impulses that informed Four-in-one-bird (moving).36These works can be traced back more properly to Hinder’s interest in colour organs and Eleonore Lange’s theories on light (see Free & Henshaw, pp. 169, 178).

Four decades in hiding

Four-in-one-bird (moving) remained invisible in Hinder’s studio for over four decades. Yet even after it was exhibited for the first time in 1981, its extraordinary place in Australian art was not acknowledged. Upon close examination, this remarkable work confirms Frank Hinder at the forefront of progressive art in Australia, and reveals the extent of experimentation within the group at this crucial moment of Australian modernism.

Elena Taylor, Curator, Australian Art, National Gallery of Victoria (in 2011).

Notes

1      Lange had studied sculpture, optics and aesthetics at the School of Applied Arts, Frankfurt. She came to Australia in 1930 and lectured widely on art, becoming a prominent advocate of modernism (see Geoffrey Batchem, ‘Blueprints of creation’, Art and Text, no. 39, May 1991, pp. 18–19).

2      However, it was recognised as such by NGV Curator of Australian Art Jennifer Phipps who wrote to Hinder shortly after the work was acquired: ‘the painting/kinetic surely must be Australia’s first kinetic sculpture’ (NGV artist file, 5 January 1982, folio 10).

3      The work has been reproduced and discussed twice in Renée Free & John Henshaw, ‘The art of Frank Hinder’ [unpublished manuscript ,2008]; Lesley Harding & Sue Cramer, Cubism & Australian Art, Miegunyah, Melbourne, 2009, p. 142.

4      Frank and Margel Hinder 1930–1980, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 12 June – 13 July 1980.

5      Raye Collins, ‘On the mend: NGV conservation’, Gallery, July–August 2009, p. 23.

6      An inscription on the box covering the motor reads: ‘F. C. HINDR. [sic] / MECHNIZED [sic] -79-80’.

7      Frank Hinder, 16 September 1981, NGV artist file, folio 7–8.

8      For an account of Hinder’s studies in America, see John Henshaw, Frank Hinder Lithographs, Langridge, Sydney, 1978.

9      Frank Hinder, interview with Dinah Dysart, ‘Frank & Margel Hinder’, Art + Australia, vol. 29, no. 3, 1992, p. 340.

10      Hinder, quoted in Free & Henshaw, p. 30.

11      While initially catalogued as dating from 1933, this drawing on tracing paper is now thought to date from 1937 and to have been used as the template for the 1937 gouaches.

12      Hinder, interviewed p. 341.

13      ibid.

14      Within a broader context of Australian art, 1937 marks the highpoint of the bitter division between conservative and modernist factions in Australia with the establishment of the Australian Academy of Art and the formation of the first Contemporary Art Society in Melbourne. Hinder was actively involved in these debates and was a founding member of the Contemporary Art Society in Sydney in 1940.

15      A handwritten note in Hinder’s papers lists the potential exhibitors as Grace Crowley, Ralph Balson, Wilfrid Peisley, Dora Chapman, James Cant, Ronald Steuart, Alistair Morrison, Gordon Andrews, Frank Hinder, Gerald Lewers, Margel Hinder, Lyndon Dadswell (with a question mark behind his name), Rah Fizelle and (illegible). Frank Hinder archive, AGNSW, 2.2, ‘Extracts from philosophers, artists and scientists’.

16      Frank Hinder, Grosvenor Gallery, 219 George Street Sydney, 13–27 May 1937. The exhibition included works with the titles Abstraction, Composition, Construction. The show was hostilely received in some quarters, with Hinder later claiming that his works had been spat upon (Hinder, interview, p. 341).

17      An entry in Frank Hinder’s diary from 1938 shows that Hinder was also interested in the development of colour organs (Hinder archive, AGNSW, 2.1, typescript of Hinder’s manuscript ‘Our gallery daze’, 17 August 1938.

18      Hinder, 16 September 1981, NGV artist file, folio 7–8.

19      Similarly Hinder’s many semi-abstract works of fishermen hauling nets at Lake Conjola from 1938 to 1939, are based upon the same spiralling movement.

20      Free & Henshaw, p. 61.

21      This is apparently Hinder’s first sculptural work, although in America he had created several inlay veneer panels, three of which were included in his 1937 Grosvenor exhibition. One of these Wilderness (Moses) is reproduced in Free & Henshaw, p. 2.

22      Free & Henshaw p. 61.

23      Frank Hinder archive, AGNSW, 2.2, ‘Extracts from philosophers, artists and scientists’.

24      Quoted in Free & Henshaw, p. 61.

25      John Henshaw writes: ‘It was Grace Crowley who introduced him to the elements of Cubism she had studied with Gleizes in Paris in the late twenties’, in John Henshaw, Frank Hinder Lithographs, Langridge, Sydney, 1978, p. 15.

26      Free & Henshaw, p. 48.

27      See Elena Taylor, Grace Crowley: Being Modern, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2006, p. 27.

28      See Helen Topliss (ed.), Earth, Fire, Water, Air: Anne Dangar’s Letters to Grace Crowley, 1930–1951, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, 2000.

29      A similar exploration of colour and texture appears in one other known work from this time, Hinder’s slightly later cubist oil painting Still life, 1939 (collection AGNSW).

30      See Peter Brooke, Albert Gleizes: For and Against the Twentieth Century, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2001, pp. 96–7.

31      Letter, 4 January 1934, in Topliss (ed.), p. 116.

32      Quoted in Mary Eagle, Australian Modern Painting between the Wars 1914–1939, Bay Books, Sydney, 1989, p. 143.

33      Exhibition 1: Paintings and Sculptures, David Jones’ Art Gallery, Sydney, 17 August – 2 September 1939.

34      Free & Henshaw, p. 66.

35      Hinder, interviewed p. 341.

36      These works can be traced back more properly to Hinder’s interest in colour organs and Eleonore Lange’s theories on light (see Free & Henshaw, pp. 169, 178).