Hans Hofmann, 1880-1966

Hans Hofmann was born in Weißenburg, Bavaria on March 21, 1880, and when he was six he moved with his family to Munich.

Hofmann’s early talent was in science and mathematics. At sixteen, he started work with the Bavarian government as assistant to the director of Public Works where he was able to increase his knowledge of mathematics. He went on to develop and patent an electromagnetic comptometer, a radar device for ships at sea, a sensitised light bulb, and a portable freezer unit for military use.

He became interested in creative studies, and began art training after the death of his father.

In 1932 he emigrated to the United States, where he resided until the end of his life. He was a member of the New York based group, the Irascibles.

Hofmann’s art work is distinguished by a rigorous concern with pictorial structure, spatial illusion, and colour relationship. He was also heavily influenced in his later years by Henri Matisse’s ideas about color and form.

His completely abstract works date from the 1940s. Hofmann believed that abstract art was a way to get at the important reality. He famously stated that “the ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak”.

Hofmann29

Hans Hofmann, Untitled, c1929, ink on mounted parchment, 27 x 36 cm, Private Collection

Hofmann42

Hans Hofmann, Untitled, 1942, crayon and ink on paper, 36 x 43 cm, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA

Hofmann43

Hans Hofmann, Untitled, 1942, crayon and ink on paper, 36 x 43 cm, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA

HofmannConjuror

Hans Hofmann, The Conjuror, 1959, oil on board mounted on canvas, 151 x 114 cm, Städtische Galerie, Munich, Germany

HofmannDeepWaters

Hans Hofmann, Above Deep Waters, 1959, oil on canvas, 214 x 132 cm, Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, USA

HofmannInterior

Hans Hofmann, Untitled (Interior Composition), c1935, oil and casein on panel, 110 x 90 cm, University of California Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, USA

HofmannMiz

Hans Hofmann, Miz Hofmann, Portrait, 1901, oil on board, 70 x 50 cm, Städtische Galerie, Munich. Germany

HofmannNebula

Hans Hofmann, Astral Nebula, 1961, oil on canvas, 213 x 183 cm, Städtische Galerie, Munich, Germany

HofmannNightingale

Hans Hofmann, Song of the Nightingale, 1964, oil on canvas, 213 x 183 cm, Private Collection

HofmannPax

Hans Hofmann, Miz – Pax Vobiscum, 1964, oil on canvas, 197 x 212 cm, Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX, USA

HofmannQuijote

Hans Hofmann, Don Quixote, 1963, oil on canvas, 213 x 183 cm, Private collection

HofmannStillLifeInterior

Hans Hofmann, Still Life Interior, 1941, oil on panel, 61 x 76 cm, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA

HofmannWall

Hans Hofmann, Combinable Wall I and II, 1961, oil on canvas, 215 x 286 cm, University of California Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, USA

HofmannWind

Hans Hofmann, The Wind, 1942, oil, duco, gouache and India ink on board, 111 x 71 cm, University of California Art Museum, Berkeley, CA, USA

HofmannYellowTable

Hans Hofmann, Still Life-Yellow Table on Green, 1936, oil on panel,152 x 121 cm, Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, USA

Hofmann’ s influence extended to others:

PollockLavender

Jackson Pollock, Number One  1950 (Lavender Mist), 1950, oil, enamel, and aluminum on canvas, 221 x 300 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA

NewmanVir

Barnett Newman, Vir Heroicus Sublimis, 1950-51, oil on canvas, 242 x 542 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA

KlineChief

Franz Kline. Chief. 1950, oil on canvas, 148 x 187 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA

KooningExcavation

Willem de Kooning, Excavation, 1950, oil on canvas 206 x 255 cm, Art Institute, Chicago, IL, USA

MC, Meeting No 17, 15/05/2018

 

 

 

One thought on “Hans Hofmann, 1880-1966”

  1. I so enjoyed some of the wonderful paintings by Hans Hofmann. Thank you for the introduction to him!

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