Tom Hodgson


Tom Hodgson (1924-2006) was one of the members of Painters 11 - the legendary group of Toronto-based artists that helped advance and disseminate abstraction in English Canada.  

Hodgson first studied at (what is now known as) the Ontario College of Art & Design, but began his career as a commercial artist. Like many of his peers, he soon found himself desiring a more adventurous and free method of art and self-expression. In the early 1950’s, Hodgson joined artists such as William Ronald, Ray Mead, Harold Town, Alexandra Luke, amongst others to form Painters 11. Together these prolific painters introduced the Canadian public to abstract expressionism and have greatly influenced the succeeding generations of Canadian artists.

Oscar CahĂ©n, who died in 1956 shortly after the formation of Painters 11, is often cited as one of Hodgson’s main influences and mentors. Like Hodgson, CahĂ©n sought freedom after working as a commercial artist. After CahĂ©n’s passing, Hodgson paid homage to CahĂ©n throughout his career, often in his color palette’s.

Hodgson was known as an action painter, particularly during the 50’s and 60’s, when groundbreaking American artists like Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and Franz Kline were popularizing the method. Locally, Oscar CahĂ©n was a big mentor on Hodgson, until his untimely death only a short time after the founding of Painters 11. 

While Hodgson was dedicated to art making, he was also an accomplished athlete. He was a national sprint canoe champion and represented Canada at the Olympics  in Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956). One could say that some of Hodgson's painting techniques and motifs derive from his strength as a champion paddler and his experience in the water. 

Hodgson frequently worked in watercolor and arguably his works on paper are slightly more refined or nuanced than his canvases. Art Historian VR distinguishes Hodgson as the most gestural member of Painters 11, "...gutsy and aggressive, but finally lyrical and sensuous..." 

Additional images available on request. 

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Signed and dated by the artist.


“Halloween” (Untitled) 

Canada, 1963

25.5”W 24"H (work visible)

33.5"W 25.5”H (framed)

Framed with museum glass. 

Excellent condition.

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