Hans Hofmann

German-American, 1880–1966

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Hans Hofmann

German-American, 1880–1966

4,534
Followers
Biography

Hans Hofmann began painting in Paris, where he worked alongside such titans of European Modernism as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and Henri Matisse. His best-known early paintings combine Cubist structure with Fauvist color, as in Untitled (1943). Although he would eventually be considered one of the preeminent Abstract Expressionists, having relocated to New York in 1932, Hofmann’s primary interest was in pictorial phenomena: the illusion of three-dimensional space, composition, and the optical effects of color. “It is not the form that dictates color, but the color that brings out the form,” he once said. In the 1950s, Hofmann made his most famous series of paintings, in which he explored the relativity of color, developing his “push-pull” theory and technique by which warm and cool colors interact to produce effects of movement, space, and depth. Perhaps even more influential as a teacher than as an artist, Hofmann counted Helen Frankenthaler, Alfred Jensen, Joan Mitchell, Wolf Kahn, Lee Krasner, Louise Nevelson, and Frank Stella among his many students.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$9m, Christie's, 2017
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

Hans Hofmann began painting in Paris, where he worked alongside such titans of European Modernism as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and Henri Matisse. His best-known early paintings combine Cubist structure with Fauvist color, as in Untitled (1943). Although he would eventually be considered one of the preeminent Abstract Expressionists, having relocated to New York in 1932, Hofmann’s primary interest was in pictorial phenomena: the illusion of three-dimensional space, composition, and the optical effects of color. “It is not the form that dictates color, but the color that brings out the form,” he once said. In the 1950s, Hofmann made his most famous series of paintings, in which he explored the relativity of color, developing his “push-pull” theory and technique by which warm and cool colors interact to produce effects of movement, space, and depth. Perhaps even more influential as a teacher than as an artist, Hofmann counted Helen Frankenthaler, Alfred Jensen, Joan Mitchell, Wolf Kahn, Lee Krasner, Louise Nevelson, and Frank Stella among his many students.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Auction
High auction record
$9m, Christie's, 2017
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 2 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 3 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Hans Hofmann
Articles Featuring Hans Hofmann
The Cape Cod Town That Became an Inclusive Haven for Artists
Jul 22nd, 2019
The New York Workshop Where Famous Artists Get Their Neons Made
Jun 28th, 2017
The Top 10 Abstract Expressionists on Artsy
Aug 3rd, 2013
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