Flight into Egypt

Frank HINDER: artist

Not On Display

About the work

When Frank Hinder entered this painting into the Blake Prize for Religious Art held at Mark Foy's Exhibition Gallery Sydney in 1952, he would have had little idea of the controversy it would cause. Of the painting, Hinder stated, 'The figures are featureless - I wanted them to remain as impersonal as possible, hoping to suggest the general idea of 'flight' - an experience of the people of the world throughout history; in many cases, of course, flight from religious persecution as well as from human would-be gods and other unpleasant people'. The painting received strong criticism from some art critics of the day who, despite applauding its skilled execution, questioned its place amongst truly religious art. One thought it 'more at home in the field of commercial art than that of art'. Despite the controversy, the painting won first prize and, on the persistence of the then Director of the Gallery, Laurie Thomas and the Art Gallery Society, it entered the collection of the Art Gallery of Western Australia the following year.

The painting reveals Hinder's interest in abstraction and the theory of dynamic symmetry - the geometric and organic ordering of space - to which he had been exposed during a formative period in the United States prior to his return to Sydney in 1934. Several pencil and watercolour preliminary studies of this painting are held by the Gallery and show Hinder's attempts to show depth while keeping things on the plane, and his interest in developing the idea of forward movement, elements which closely relate to the final painting.
Flight into Egypt
Artist/Maker and role
Frank HINDER: artist
oil and tempera on hardboard
96.5 x 75.5 cm (sight)
114.3 x 94.1cm (framed)
Credit line
Gift of the Friends of the Art Gallery, 1953
The State Art Collection, The Art Gallery of Western Australia
Accession number

This is one of the paintings in our collection.