Hofmann : Master of Abstract Expressionism
is dedicated to the abstract painter Hans Hofmann
(1880-1966). His incredible imagery inspired his
students as well as artists throughout the world. From his
smaller works on paper to his larger paintings, they are all
unique and powerful. Hoffman has been called a Fauvist, Cubist,
and Abstract Expressionist. He used aspects of all these styles
to create his own personal style.
famous push pull theory, a culmination of many of his ideas,
describes the plasticity of three-dimensionality translated
to two-dimensionality. Shapes, colors, lines, calligraphic
squiggles, and use of space always echo the reality found
in nature, but its structure rather than its appearance. In
his search for the real (as he titled his book, “The
Search for the Real and Other Essays” ) Hofmann
produced a new type of landscape, one that is composed, not
of trees and land, but of the tension between its space, form,
color and planes.
key to Hofmann’s paintings is his passion for nature,
whether perceived on location, from memory, or imagination.
He incessantly probed natural elements, focusing on volume,
and geometric forms in positive and negative spaces. It was
the object, he said, that creates the negative or positive
space, not, as traditionally conceived, that an object is
placed in a space. If an object creates space, then it is
light that creates form. Similarly, light makes color in nature,
but color creates light in painting.
life, physically and aesthetically, spanned from Post-Impressionism
to the New York School. He socialized with the likes of Picasso
and Matisse, and numerous other major artists in each generation,
including the Abstract Expressionists, while exhibiting in
prestigious and avant-garde venues. His work was generally
well received, but he was never a leader of a particular movement.
Hofmann was known as a synthesist because he brought together
traditional methods and avant-garde concepts concerning the
nature of painting, largely based on Cezanne, Kandinsky, and
Picasso’s Synthetic Cubism. Because teaching dominated
much of his creative life, his art was often critically measured
against his theories. With his European sensibilities and
his newly adopted American spirit, it needs to be remembered
that Hofmann’s work exemplifies a fusion of multiple
aspects of 20th century art.
2006 hanshofmann.net - All images on this site are copyrighted
by the Estate of Hans Hofmann.
Please note that Hanshofmann.net is a private tribute website,
unaffiliated with Hans Hofmann or his representatives.