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Lancashire Family 1927 This is Lancashire Family 1927 ©? Auckland City Art Gallery. EA Sheppard has written an essay here about five Frances Hodgkins paintings in which he says that this one 'shows her cautiously experimenting with Cubism' at a period of 'deference to "advanced" theories of art and experimentation with "new" pictorial modes, so that the sensitive portraiture which had been the natural and most telling expression of her genius was now formalised in the interests of abstract design.' In other words, if this is true, she was not painting in the way that came naturally to her but trying to be more avant-garde. It would be interesting to speculate about this theory of modernism (that painters and writers and musicians choose to adopt its methods rather than do so instinctively) in relation to some of 'our' writers. Would Dorothy Whipple's Someone at a Distance have been more widely read (indeed read at all, at the time) if its prose had been experimental and it had adopted the newly-fashionable ideas of the angry young men? Well, it would of course.

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