Hans Hofmann

Hans Hofmann

Infobox Artist
bgcolour = Silver
name = Hans Hofmann

imagesize = 300px
caption = 'The Gate', 1959-1960, collection: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
birthname =
birthdate = birth date |1880|3|21|
location = Weißenburg, Bavaria
deathdate = death date and age |1966|2|17|1880|3|21|
deathplace =
nationality = American
field = Painting
training =
movement = Abstract Expressionism
works =
patrons =
influenced by = Henri Matisse, Robert Delaunay
influenced = Lee Krasner, Clement Greenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Rivers and many others
awards =

Hans Hofmann (March 21 1880February 17 1966) was a German-born American abstract expressionist painter. He was born in Weißenburg, Bavaria on March 21 1880 the son of Theodor and Franziska Hofmann. In 1932 he immigrated to the United States, where he resided until the end of his life.


According to the Hofmann biography at the Tate Gallery website [ [http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=1298&page=1&sole=y&collab=y&attr=y&sort=default&tabview=bio Tate Collection | Hans Hofmann ] ] , Hofmann's work is distinguished by "a rigorous concern with pictorial structure, spatial illusion, and colour relationships."

The Guggenheim Collection's information on Hofmann states that his "completely abstract works date from the 1940s" [ [http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_bio_64.html Guggenheim Collection - Artist - Hofmann - Biography ] ] . Hofmann believed that abstract art was a way to get at what was really important. He famously stated that "the ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak." [ [http://www.hanshofmann.net/quotes.html Hans Hofmann: Quotes ] ]

Teaching and writing

Hofmann was renowned not only as an artist but as a teacher of art, both in his native Germany and later in the U.S. In Munich he founded an art school, where Louise Nevelson, Wolfgang Paalen, Worth Rider and Alfred Jensen, were among his students. He closed this school in 1932, the year he immigrated to the U.S. In America, he initially taught at the University of California, Berkeley in 1930 [ [http://bampfa.berkeley.edu/collection/selection/TXT0032 BAM/PFA - Art Collection ] ] and in 1933 at the Art Students League of New York. Leaving the League in the mid 1930s Hofmann opened his own schools in New York and later in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Many famous or notable artists, especially some who could generally be classified as abstract expressionists, studied with Hofmann in New York and Provincetown. These distinguished alumni included: Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Gerome Kamrowski, Joseph Plaskett, William Ronald, Joan Mitchell, Michael Goldberg, Ray Eames, Larry Rivers, Jane Frank, Nell Blaine, Robert de Niro, Sr., Jane Freilicher, Allan Kaprow, Red Grooms, Wolf Kahn, Marisol Escobar, Nicholas Krushenick, Burgoyne Diller, Mercedes Matter, James Gahagan, Louisa Matthíasdóttir, Judith Godwin, and Donald Jarvis. In 1958, Hofmann closed his schools in order to devote himself exclusively to his own creative work.

Also prominent as a writer on modern art, Hofmann authored an influential book (sometimes referred to and anthologized as an "essay"), "Search for the Real", in which he discussed his push/pull spatial theories, his reverence for nature as a source for art, and his philosophy of art in general. Hofmann was an enormously important interpreter of modernism and its relevance to advanced painting.


Hans Hofmann's works are in the permanent collections of many major museums in the United States and throughout the world, including the UC Berkeley Art Museum, New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Seattle Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich), the Museu d'Art Contemporani, (Barcelona), and the Tate Gallery (London). In addition to these collections, he also designed a colorful mural located outside the entrance of the High School of Graphic Communication Arts located in the Hells Kitchen neighborhood of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. [ [http://www.explorenyc.com/Hell's%20Kitchen/school.html "You're in Hells Kitchen: High School of Graphic Communication Arts"] ]

Hofmann Estate

When Hans Hofmann died on February 17 1966, his widow, Renate Hofman managed his Estate.

After Renate's death in 1992, the "New York Daily News" published an article titled, "From Caviar to Cat Food," which detailed the "sad and tortuous story" of Hofmann's widow. The article contended that Renate's court appointed guardians "milk [ed] the Estate for more than a decade" and allowed the mentally unstable Renate live "with her cats and liquor in a garbage-strewn oceanfront home." [ [http://ps-ca-web-02.artnet-web.artnet.com/magazine/news/artnetnews/artnetnews7-19-01.asp Artnet "News" page. July 19, 2001] ]

Under threat of prosecution, the original executor of the Hofmann Estate, Robert Warshaw, was successful in having the neglectful guardians pay $8.7 million dollars to the Estate for "extraordinary conscious pain and suffering." [ [http://ps-ca-web-02.artnet-web.artnet.com/magazine/news/artnetnews/artnetnews7-19-01.asp Artnet "News" page. July 19, 2001] ]

Under the will of Renate Hofmann, The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust was formally created with Robert Warshaw at its head. The mission of the Trust is "to promote the study and understanding of Hans Hofmann's extraordinary life and works" and to accomplish these goals "through exhibitions, publications and educational activities and programs focusing on Hans Hofmann" [ [http://www.hanshofmann.org/about The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust website: About Us page] ] as well as forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Hofmann's paintings. [ [http://www.hanshofmann.org/catalogue The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust website: catalogue raisonné page] ] . The U.S. copyright representative for the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust is the Artists Rights Society [ [http://arsny.com/requested.html Most frequently requested artists list of the Artists Rights Society] ] .

ee also

* Abstract expressionism
* Abstract art
* Modernism
* Western painting
* Art theory (aesthetics)
* Clarence Holbrook Carter (studied with Hofmann in the summer of 1927)
* James Gahagan



*Chipp, Herschel B.. [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/oclc/1029913&referer=brief_results Theories of modern art; a source book by artists and critics] (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1968)
*Hofmann, Hans; Sara T Weeks; Bartlett H Hayes; Addison Gallery of American Art; [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/oclc/1125858&referer=brief_results "Search for the real, and other essays"] (Cambridge, Mass., M.I.T. Press, 1967) OCLC 1125858
*Tapié, Michel. [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/oclc/62515192&referer=brief_results "Hans Hofmann : peintures 1962 : 23 avril-18 mai 1963."] (Paris: Galerie Anderson-Mayer, 1963.) [exhibition catalogue and commentary] OCLC: 62515192
* Marika Herskovic, [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/oclc/50253062&tab=holdings "American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s An Illustrated Survey,"] (New York School Press, 2003.) ISBN 0-9677994-1-4
* Marika Herskovic, [http://www.worldcatlibraries.org/oclc/50666793&tab=holdings "New York School Abstract Expressionists Artists Choice by Artists,"] (New York School Press, 2000.) ISBN 0-9677994-0-6

External links

* [http://www.hanshofmann.net/ Hanshofmann.net]
* [http://collections.sfmoma.org/OBJ4688.htm COLOR IMAGE of a 1959 Hofmann work] at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
* [http://www.hanshofmann.org/ The Estate of Hans Hofmann]
* [http://www.guggenheimcollection.org/site/artist_bio_64.html Hans Hofmann Biography: Guggenheim Collection (New York)]
* [http://www.tate.org.uk/servlet/ArtistWorks?cgroupid=999999961&artistid=1298&page=1&sole=y&collab=y&attr=y&sort=default&tabview=bio Hans Hofmann Biography: Tate Collection (Tate Gallery, London)]
* [http://www.pbs.org/hanshofmann/biography_001.html Hans Hofmann Biography: PBS.org]
* [http://www.askart.com/AskART/artists/search/Search_Grid.aspx?GotoPage=3&Total=54&PerPage=25&SearchType=MUSEUMS&Artist=31190 Information on Hans Hofmann: Askart.com]
* [http://www.pbs.org/hanshofmann/push_and_pull_001.html PBS interactive pages on Hans Hofmann's "push/pull" theory]
* [http://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/findingaids/index.cfm/fuseaction/Collections.ViewCollection/CollectionID/5966 Hans Hofmann papers at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Hans Hofmann — ist der Name folgender Personen: Hans Hofmann (Bürgermeister) († 1584), Bürgermeister von Heilbronn Hans Hofmann (Musiker) (1867–1933), deutscher Kirchenmusiker Hans Hofmann (Maler) (1880–1966), deutscher Maler Hans Hofmann (Architekt)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Hofmann — (21 de marzo de 1880 en Weißenburg in Bayern, Baviera – 17 de febrero de 1966 en Nueva York) fue un pintor alemán. En 1904, marchó a París y pasó diez años nutriéndose del arte moderno europeo, relacionándose con los principales artistas de la… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Hans Hofmann — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Hofmann.  Ne doit pas être confondu avec Hans Hoffmann. Hans Hofmann (21 mars 1880 à Weißenburg en Bavière – 17 février 1966 à …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Hans Hofmann (Maler) — Hans Hofmann (* 21. März 1880 in Weißenburg in Bayern; † 17. Februar 1966 in New York) war ein Maler, der in seinen frühen Werken eine Synthese aus Fauvismus und Kubismus anstrebte. Nach seiner Emigration in die Vereinigten Staaten gründete er in …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Hofmann (Politiker) — Hans Hofmann (* 3. März 1939 in Horgen) ist ein Schweizer Politiker. Er gehört der Schweizerischen Volkspartei (SVP) an. Leben Hofmann ist in Horgen aufgewachsen, verheiratet und hat zwei Kinder. Politik Hans Hofmann begann seine politische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Hofmann (SVP) — Hans Hofmann (* 3. März 1939 in Horgen) ist ein Schweizer Politiker. Er gehört der Schweizerischen Volkspartei (SVP) an. Leben Hofmann ist in Horgen aufgewachsen, verheiratet und hat zwei Kinder. Politik Hans Hofmann begann seine politische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Hofmann (KPD) — Hans Hofmann (* 10. November 1909 in Remscheid; † 8. März 1954) war ein deutscher Politiker und Landtagsabgeordneter der Kommunistischen Partei Deutschlands. Leben und Beruf Nach dem Besuch der Volksschule absolvierte er eine kaufmännische… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Hofmann (Admiral) — Hans Hofmann (* 10. Juli 1933 in Hamburg) ist ein ehemaliger Vizeadmiral der Volksmarine. Biografie Nach Schulausbildung und Lehre war er von 1948 bis 1950 als Technischer Zeichner tätig und trat am 15. Oktober 1950 als Anwärter an der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Hofmann (Architekt) — Mustermesse Basel, Eingang der Halle 2 Kraftwerk Birsfelden Kellermüller Hofmann war ein Schweizer Architekturbüro, das vor allem im Wohnungsbau im Musterbau auf Bauausstellungen und im Siedlungsbau international Beachtung fand …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Hans Hofmann (Bürgermeister) — Wappen des (Jo)han(ne)s Hoffmann J.H. Hans Hofmann (auch: Johannes Hofmann; * unbekannt; † 21. Oktober 1574 in Heilbronn) war von 1561 bis 1574 Bürgermeister von Heilbronn. Hofmann war 1531 Mitglied des äußeren Rats (Von der Gemeind) und 1539… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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