HANS HOFMANN was born in Weissenburg in Bavaria, Germany in 1880. He studied art in Munich and Paris, where he lived from 1904-14. He returned to Germany in 1914, and in 1915 he opened an art school in Munich. In 1930, Hofmann traveled to the United States, and from 1930-32 he taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles. Because of the growing hostility toward intellectuals in Germany, Hofmann decided to remain in America.
In 1932, Hofmann moved to New York. He taught at the Art Students League, then opened the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in 1934.
During his lifetime, Hofmann’s work was the subject of exhibitions at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, his first exhibition in the United States (1931); the Art of This Century Gallery (1944); the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts (1948); Whitney Museum of American Art (1957); the XXX Venice Biennale (1960); and The Museum of Modern Art (1963).
Hofmann’s work is in many permanent collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel; and the Städtische Galerie, Lenbachhaus, Munich.
Hans Hofmann died in February of 1966 in New York City.
A few years ago, after a Tina Dickey lecture on the German-born American abstract painter Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), an audience member said: “I understand the ‘push,’ but I don’t understand the ‘pull.’” He was referring to Hofmann’s oft-quoted statement about the nature and dynamics of pictorial space in painting. Hofmann—who was not only a renowned painter but also the influential teacher of some of America’s most celebrated midcentury artists—coined the term “push and pull,” which he also referred to as “movement and countermovement” and “plasticity.”
Each week, artists, art historians and authors join host Tyler Green to discuss their work on The Modern Arts Notes Podcast
Episode No. 382 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features artist Allen Ruppersberg in the first segment and curator Lucinda Barnes in the second segment discussing “Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction," currently on view at BAMPFA through 21 July 2019.
Exhibition: Hans Hofmann at Miles McEnery Gallery
This show spans multiple decades of Hans Hofmann’s painting, and testifies to how European modernism, in particular its artists’ use of color and composition, inspired him. Of his process, Hofmann said, “I do not want to avoid immersing myself in trouble–to be in a mess–to struggle out of it. I want to invent, to discover, to imagine, to speculate, to improvise–to seize the hazardous in order to be inspired.”
The National Museum of History and Art dedicates for the first time in Luxembourg an exhibition to one of the main representatives of American Abstract Expressionism.
Hans Hofmann is one of the most important 20th century American modernist artists and art teachers. Born in 1880 in Weißenburg, Bavaria, Hofmann died in the United States in 1966. In his oeuvre, he combines the traditions of European modernist painting with influences from American postwar art.
Creation in Form and Color: Hans Hofmann is organized by University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, in collaboration with the Kunsthalle Bielefeld and the National Museum for History and Art Luxemburg.
Artists include: Nicolas Carone, Paul Georges, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Mercedes Matter, George McNeil, Ruth Miller, Alice Neel, Chuck O'Connor, Philip Pearlstein, Vita Petersen, Milton Resnick
by Robert Hobbs
The most comprehensive retrospective exhibition of works on paper by the Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann is now on view at Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural institute of the University of North Florida. Curated by Wall Street Journal contributor Karen Wilkin and Marcelle Polednik of the Milwaukee Art Museum, this survey of 80 multimedia works, spanning the half-century from about 1914 to 1965, is an entrancing celebration of the thoroughly energized, richly hued works.
German-born Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) was the first person to formulate a set of principles for understanding modern art, making him one of the century’s most important teachers. He based them on his intimate acquaintance with Fauvism, Cubism and its lyrical offshoot, Orphism, while in Paris from 1905 to 1913, and years later, while back in Germany, with Surrealism.
by Charlie Patton
Though he is considered one of the pioneers of abstract expressionism, during his long career the German-born painter-turned-U.S. citizen Hans Hofmann embraced many styles.
Born in 1880, he was first drawn to Impressionism. He then spent time in Paris in the early 1900s where he befriended Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Henri Matisse and embraced such movements as Cubism and Fauvism.
You can’t characterize him with one individual style,” said the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville’s curator Jaime DeSimone. “He reinvented himself time and time again.”
The exhibition Creation in Form and Color: Hans Hofmann is a collaborative project by the Berkeley Art Museum, the Pacific Film Archive at the University of California (BAMPFA), and the Kunsthalle Bielefeld. It is based on a precise selection of approximately 60 paintings, watercolors, and drawings that span the artist’s entire career from the 1920s to the early 1960s. The show includes works on loan from the Berkeley Art Museum, as well as from prominent American and European museums and private collections. One of the exhibit’s particular goals is to examine Hans Hofmann before the backdrop of his European tradition in his role as an important artist and teacher of 20th century American modernism. Additionally, the show weighs his exploration of his experiences and influences in his chosen homeland of America, while simultaneously emphasizing his theories and work, which made him an especially significant artistic mediator between the continents. Despite his fundamental importance to the development of modern art in America—where prominent exhibitions were devoted to him during his lifetime—Hofmann remains less well known in Germany and Europe as a member of the Modernist avant-garde.
Hans Hofmann’s famous phrase “push and pull” is most often associated with his signature works of the 1950s and 1960s, in which bold color planes emerge from and recede into energetic surfaces of intersecting and overlapping shapes. The ideas and impulses behind this enduring term, however, took shape decades earlier, in his teachings, writings, and in his own paintings. In the late 1930s, in a series of widely attended lectures in Greenwich Village, Hofmann demonstrated how to “push a plane in the surface or to pull it from the surface” to create pictorial space. “We must create pictorial space,” he declared to audiences of avid young artists and critics, including Arshile Gorky, Clement Greenberg, and Harold Rosenberg. Hofmann would later refine his definition of push and pull as “expanding and contracting forces...the picture plane reacts automatically in the opposite direction to the stimulus received; thus action continues as long as it receives stimulus in the creative process. Push answers with pull and pull with push.”
In 1934, a year after Hitler’s accession to power, the exiled German painter established his Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, on Fifty-seventh Street. It went on to become the clearinghouse of the first internationally successful generation of American painters. In the five succulent early works here, painted in Provincetown and predating Hofmann’s more familiar paintings of solid blocks of color, you can see him infusing his European inheritance (specifically, the jarring non-local color of Fauvism) with American verve. A studio interior, from 1936, has the bright blues and violets of Matisse, but the orange pigment of a chest of drawers bleeds past its contours, onto the wall and the floor, prefiguring a combustible abstraction of 1944, whose uncontainable splatters offered a new model of creation.
Opening: Hans Hofmann at Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe
In a season dominated by group shows, here's a nice solo show of Hans Hofmann's work. Hofmann, the German-born and later New York-based artist, is best known for his abastract paintings that feature layered geometrical forms against non-figurative backgrounds. Having been one of Harold Rosenberg's favorites, he quickly achieved fame and went on to inspire many more. This show should be a nice, light survery of a big-name artist at a time when many other galleries have turned over their spaces to lesser-known artists.
Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe, 525 West 22nd Street, 6-8 p.m.
In cooperation with the University of California Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, Kunsthalle Bielefeld will present the exhibition Creation in Form and Color, dealing with the work of the German-born painter, Hans Hofmann. The exhibition opens at Kunsthalle Bielefeld on 5 Novemer 2016 and remains on view through 26 February 2017. It will travel to the Musee National d'histoire et d'art - Luxembourg and be on view from 28 September 2017 through 14 January 2018. A third venue for the exhibition will be announced.
Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann opens October 10, 2015 and will headline the museum's Art Basel season, on view through January 3, 2016. The exhibition focuses on the artist's public mural projects, and also includes several key later paintings. It features nine oil studies (each seven feet tall) for the redesign of the Peruvian city of Chimbote (Hofmann's visionary collaboration in 1950 with Catalan architect Jose Luis Sert that was never realized).
By Roberta Smith
GREENWICH, Conn. — You have to love Hans Hofmann for his exuberant late-blooming paintings, and for his eponymous art school, which formed one of the foundations of Abstract Expressionism. His paintings are, fittingly, usually seen as part of that heroic art movement, even though they replace its existential undercurrents with a stylistic capriciousness that sifts through European modernism with abandon.
July 2 at 8 pm NYC-Arts News on THIRTEEN will be hosted from the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT featuring "Walls of Color, the Murals of Hans Hoffman."
Broadcast encores as follows: Sunday, July 5 at 12 noon on THIRTEEN Friday, July 3 at 7pm and Sunday, July 5 at 3pm on WLIW Sunday, July 5 at 8:30 pm on NJTV
July 9 at 8 pm NYC-Arts News on THIRTEEN will be hosted from the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT featuring "Walls of Color, the Murals of Hans Hoffman."
Broadcast encores as follows: Sunday, July 12 at 12 noon on THIRTEEN Friday, July 10 at 7pm and Sunday, July 12 at 3pm on WLIW Sunday, July 12 at 8:30 pm on NJTV
I would like to let you know about a very special opportunity happening at the Bruce next week.
On Thursday evening, June 25, Dr. Mary McLeod, our final guest lecturer in the 2015 Bob and Pam Goergen Lecture Series, will present:
Hans Hofmann and José Luis Sert: An Experiment in Artistic Collaboration
NEW YORK TIMES
By David W. Dunlap
GREENWICH, Conn. — There are several ways to appreciate the work ofHans Hofmann, an exuberant Abstract Expressionist who influenced generations of artists.
You could bid on a Hofmann at Christie’s. Just be sure to come with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. You could pick up a monograph, at no small cost. The Met has a number of Hofmanns on display, but the museum will suggest that you pay $25 to get in.
Alternately, you can take a stroll down West 49th Street in Manhattan, between Ninth and 10th Avenues, any day. Free.
There, along the ground-floor facade of the former High School of Printing, is a boldly scintillating 64-by-11½-foot mosaic mural designed by Mr. Hofmann and executed brilliantly in 1958 by L. Vincent Foscato of Long Island City, Queens.
New York’s treasury of public and semipublic artwork is so rich that it sometimes takes an out-of-town institution to remind us what we’ve got. In this case, it is the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Conn., which has opened an exhibition called “Walls of Color: The Murals of Hans Hofmann,” curated by Professor Kenneth E. Silver of New York University.
German American Abstract ExpressionistHans Hofmann credited his time teaching painting at UC Berkeley in the early 1930s for his "start in America as a teacher and artist."
Hofmann thanked the university with a gift of nearly 50 paintings representing the breadth of his life work, from Surrealist-influenced compositions to more physical and abstract images. The paintings are on display at the UC Berkeley Art Museum through Dec. 21 and represent the largest collection of the noted painter's work in any museum.
In the realm of high-modern abstract painting, the color purple rarely gets the spotlight. The hue doesn't have its own Picasso phase, like rose or blue. And let's face it: Jackson Pollock's "Lavender Mist" is light on the lavender and heavy on the black and white. So it's exciting to watch Hans Hofmann play with purple and give it center stage in a pair of works on view right now at Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe.
Known best as an inspiring teacher before coming to America, he continued to teach in the U.S. and to codify the principles of his teaching in his writings, exerting considerable influence. The alumni of Hofmann’s Eighth Street school include such notable figures as Michael Goldberg, Alfred Jensen, Wolf Kahn, Lee Krasner, Robert de Niro Sr., Red Grooms, Paul Resika and many more. Hofmann’s lectures on art had a profound effect on some of the most significant members of the New York cultural scene; Arshile Gorky attended them and the critic Clement Greenberg always said that hearing Hofmann’s talks in 1938-39 was vital to the formation of his own uncompromising aesthetic. Yet engaged as Hofmann continued to be by teaching and writing after leaving Germany, and influential as his instruction and theories were, the most notable aspect of his American years was his refinding of his original identity, not as a teacher and theorist, but as a deeply engaged maker of art and a master manipulator of color.
Magnum Opus," an exhibition of works by Hans Hofmann, will open in Germany at the Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern on 8 March and will remain on view through 16 June 2013.
Hans Hofmann trained in Munich and Paris, where he met artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris and George Rouault. The German-born Hofmann fully established himself as an artist in the United States in the 1930s. In 1930, Hofmann traveled to the United States, and until 1932 he taught at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Hofmann moved to New York in 1932 and taught at the Art Students League before opening the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in 1933.
With highly successful art schools in New York and Provincetown, he exerted a lasting impact on an entire generation of American artists of the postwar period. Hofmann was the catalyst of the Abstract Expressionists and influenced painters such as Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Philip Guston, Robert Motherwell and Barnett Newman.
Making a picture is almost a physical struggle," says Hans Hofmann, whose prodigious nervous energy is communicated in the expanding dimensions and exuberant colors of his abstractions. Working with astonishing speed, never sitting down, constantly in motion between his palette and his easel, applying his paint with broad, lunging gestures, Hofmann often finishes a painting in a few hours.
...Hofmann has evolved no rules for the making of a picture. On the contrary, always on guard against intellectualism and virtuosity, he says: "At the time of making a picture, I want not to know what I'm doing; a picture should be made with feeling, not with knowing. The possibilities of the medium must be sensed. Anything can serve as a medium - kerosene, benzine, turpentine, linseed oil, beeswax...even beer," he adds jokingly.
This exhibition will focus on Provincetown's legacy as an art colony, and will cover over 100 artists from Charles W. Hawthorne's founding of the Cape Cod School of Art in 1899 to the present day. This will be the largest and most comprehensive survey of the art colony completed in over 40 years.
The Portland Art Museum's sprawling new exhibition, "Riches of a City: Portland Collects," announces its intention the moment you walk in the door: It's about the warmth and pleasures of domestic life -- if not always in the art itself, at least in where it comes from. - Bob Hicks
Artists tell the story of a charismatic teacher and his ideas in Color Creates Light: Studies with Hans Hofmann by Tina Dickey, recently released by Trillistar Books. The author will travel to New York in early May for two book signings: on May 3 at 8pm, a signing at Spoonbill & Sugartown Books in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and on May 5 from 5-7pm, a Cinco de Mayo signing at Ameringer McEnery Yohe in Chelsea.