Hans Hofmann: PBS Documentary by Madeline Amgott
Hans Hofmann: Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist is a joyous and colorful one-hour journey into the life of an amazing, but too often neglected, first-generation Abstract Expressionist whose influence on the art world is immeasurable.
Narrated by Robert De Niro, the film traces Hofmann’s progression from his early discovery of Impressionism as a young student in Munich; to his ten years in Paris where he fraternized with Picasso and Matisse, enthusiastically embracing the burgeoning Cubist and Fauvist movements; to his arrival in the United States at the age of 50. Teaching in New York, Berkeley, and Provincetown, Massachusetts beginning in the 1930s, Hofmann introduced a powerful new paradigm of avant-garde abstraction to a generation of young American artists hungry for a taste of European modernity. After a 40-year commitment to teaching, Hofmann finally gained recognition as an artist in his own right when he was in his eighties. Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist includes rare archival footage of Hofmann teaching that reveals his passion for color, his “push/pull” theory of creating the illusion of space, and his insistence on using nature as the basis for all- even abstract- art. Through interviews with Frank Stella, Red Grooms, and other noted artists, writers, curators and friends, the film goes beyond biography to become an explanation of modern art itself.
Produced by Madeline Amgott for Amgott Productions. Co-executive producer is Karl Katz of MUSE Film & Television.