Yares Art is pleased to present "Hans Hofmann: the Last Decade, Major Paintings 1955-1965." On view in New York, May 6-July 1, 2017, this special exhibition features seventeen major canvases produced at a time when Hofmann (1880-1966) was at the height of his creative powers, and enjoyed an international reputation as one of the most important painters of the twentieth century. The show is also presented as an homage to the legendary art dealer André Emmerich, whose New York gallery hosted a series of landmark posthumous exhibitions of Hofmann's work, and who personally inspired the Gallery's founder Riva Yares in the nascent years of Yares Art. The present exhibition marks the fiftieth anniversary of André Emmerich's first Hans Hofmann show in 1967.
The first New York exhibition in many years to focus solely on Hofmann's late masterpieces, the Yares Art exhibition contains key works from prominent public and private collections. Among the exhibition's many highlights is The Artist and His Model II (1955), which shows how Hofmann transformed idioms of European modernism, especially the Cubist iconography of Picasso and Braque into his own uniquely expressive visual vocabulary. The exuberant Moonshine Sonata (1961), with its hyper-energetic brushwork and searing color, demonstrates why Hofmann is widely regarded as the father of Abstract Expressionism. Works such as Ex Abundantia (1964), with expansive fields of vibrant color, led the way toward the Color Field movement that gained prominence in the 1960s, and '70s. Also on view, The Golden Fleece (1964), and Proprie Moto (1965) are prime examples of the so-called Slab paintings, a group of colorful and imposing compositions featuring monolithic rectangles, which are among Hofmann's best known works.
Hans Hofmann was born in Weissenburg, Bavaria, Germany, March 21, 1880. He had an early interest in math and science, played violin, and piano, and also began to draw at an early age. He studied in Paris from 1904 to 1914, accompanied by his future wife Maria (known as Miz); he met Picasso, Braque and Matisse in that period. He opened an art school in Munich in 1915, and his reputation as a motivating teacher grew steadily from that point on. Hofmann came to California to teach summer school for the first time in 1930, returned in 1931, and again in 1932. After teaching in the summer of 1932, he decided to remain to pursue teaching opportunities and permanently settled in the United States. He became an American citizen a decade later. In 1934, he opened the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts at 137 East 57 Street, and, soon after, a summer school in Provincetown, Massachusetts, both of which thrived well into the 1950s. His last years, up until the time of his death in New York, in 1966, at age 85, were filled with numerous solo museum and gallery exhibitions, and many honors and accolades.
His work is included in many important private and public collections around the world, including The Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Menil Collection, Houston, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Tate Modern, London, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Ishibashi Foundation, Tokyo.
Hans Hofmann: the Last Decade, Major Paintings 1955-1965 is accompanied by a
fully illustrated catalogue by author, art historian, and independent curator Karen Wilkin.