Cover image of the review
Installation view, Margel Hinder: Modern in Motion, Heide Museum of Modern Art, with Wire and Perspex Abstract (c. 1955).

Margel Hinder: Modern in Motion

5 Feb 2022
Heide Museum of Modern Art 30 Oct - 6 Feb 2022

To anyone in Australia with a passing interest in modern sculpture, Margel Hinder (1906­–1995) has long stood out in a league of her own. From the vitalist spirit of her early wood carvings of the 1930s and 1940s, to her pioneering constructivist mobiles of the 1950s, and finally her monumental abstract architectural sculptures and fountains of the 1960s and ‘70s, she was consistently a leader in the field. Her younger peers in the 1960s hailed her as one. Lenton Parr opened his book Sculpture (1961), for the Longman’s ‘Arts in Australia’ series, with a photograph of her work for the Western Assurance Company in Sydney, writing of such successfully integrated architectural sculpture as having an “unrivalled power to enrich our lives and ennoble our cities” and giving Hinder two entries in the book—the only sculptor to be afforded such space. In 1964 Gordon Thomson regarded this same work as “still by far the best piece of architectural sculpture in the country”. Similarly, in an article for Hemisphere, in February 1963, Clement Meadmore positioned Hinder as the only mature sculptor to have received commissions in Sydney, ranking her with Klippel, who had by then left for the United States. Despite this professional recognition, her work has only ever been exhibited in group shows or with that of her husband Frank Hinder. This exhibition, organised jointly by the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW) and Heide, is the first dedicated Margel Hinder retrospective.

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