(1880 - 1966)
Hans Hofmann was active/lived in New York, Massachusetts, California / Germany. Hans Hofmann is known for abstract expressionist painting, art teaching.
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Biography from the Archives of askART
The only artist of the New York school to participate directly in European modernism, Hans Hofmann became known as the major exponent of Abstract Expressionism. His paintings are known for their manic, exuberant energy. Among 20th-century masters, he was the first to consolidate and codify the lessons of modernism into a teaching system. Hofmann was also a widely-influential art instructor with schools in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was described by "New York Times" critic Clement Greenberg as "the most important teacher of our time". (Falk 1590). Approximately six-thousand students studied modernist art with him, among the well-known names are Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Wolf Kahn, Larry Rivers and Nell Blaine.
Biography from the Archives of askART
Hans Hofmann was born in Weissenberg, Germany, showed a precocious interest in music and science, and had early training in mechanics while working for the Director of Public Works of Bavaria between 1896 and 1898. On that job, he invented the electromagnetic comptometer, the precursor of the adding machine.
He began to study art in 1898 in Munich where he was introduced to Impressionism. From 1904 to 1914, he studied in Paris and was exposed to many of the avant-garde artists and movements of that time including Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism. He was much taken with the exploration of pure color for its own sake, especially as investigated by Picasso, Braque, Matisse, and Delaunay.
In Munich at the outbreak of World War I, he founded an art school and was highly successful until 1932 when he emigrated to America, having spent the summers in 1930 and 1931 teaching at the University of California at Berkeley.
In 1932, he began teaching at the Arts Students League in New York and the following year opened his own schools in New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts. During the 1930s and 1940s, American Scene painting was prevalent, but he resisted that style, staying with the modernism to which he had been exposed in Europe. Hence he was later credited as a courageous pioneer in America of European modern art.
He closed both of his schools in 1958 so he could devote himself full time to his own painting. He died in New York City in 1966.
Hofmann said he always based his paintings on the subject of nature, and he used vivid colors such as bright blues, greens oranges and yellows and applied them with palette knives in long slashing strokes. He viewed the surface of the canvas as alive, responsive, and active, often with opposing forces which he created with his theory of "push and pull," and which is closely tied to theories of Paul Cezanne. He also experimented with dripping paint onto the canvas, a method Jackson Pollock learned and later made famous.
Most of the configurations of his later paintings were rectangular, likely influenced by the analytical Cubism of Picasso, and which he fled were best in accord with the overall shape of the canvas.
Matthew Baigell, "Dictionary of American Art"
Michael David Zellman, "300 Years of American Art"
Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art"
- courtesy of: "L E S L I E S A C K S F I N E A R T"
Biography from the Archives of askART
One of the most vital artists and influential teachers of his time,
Hans Hofmann is distinguished for bringing about a synthesis in
nonobjective mode of the spatial tenets of Cubism and the coloristic
gestural paint handling of Expressionism. Approaching modernism as a
deeply felt commitment transcending the historical moment, Hofmann
transmitted to American students concepts of dynamic and plastic
composition at a time when the New York art world was ripe for
exploring the modernist esthetic.
Hans Hofmann was born in Bavaria in 1880. Although he began his
studies in Munich where a late neo-impressionism was in favor, he was
Paris by 1904, immersed in the radical reformulations of Fauvism and
Cubism. Impressed by both Kandinsky and Delaunay, Hofmann was
in his belief that "the whole world, as we experience it visually,
comes to us through the mystic realm of color."
In 1915 when he opened the Hans Hoffman School of Fine Arts in Munich,
Hofmann stressed not the imitation of the appearances of nature but
"the artistic experience evoked by objective reality and the artist's
command of the spiritual means of the fine arts..." After teaching at
the University of California, Berkeley, and the Chouinard School of
Art in Los Angeles, Hofmann settled in New York when he was forced to close his
Munich school in face of the disastrous political situation; by the mid
1930's he had opened his school in New York, with summer sessions in
Provincetown, Massachussetts. Hofmann became a US citizen in 1941.
The recognizable imagery in Hofmann's landscapes and still lifes of the
1930s gave way in the 1940s to abstraction based on the rhythms of
nature. This was also the period he explored automatic drawing. Hoffman
developed a spatter and drip technique that actually came before
Pollock's drip pieces.
Hofmann explored the irrational concepts of surrealism along with
conscious feeling of perception. This tension is evoked in Hoffman's
signature works. This involves the dynamic interplay between between
recognizable image and abstract shape, between spontaneity and control,
and between foreboding irrationality and joyous affirmation.
Hofmann's first show in the US at the California Palace of the Legion
of Honor, San Francisco. During the 1940s, he had one-person
exhibitions at Peggy Guggenheim's Art of This Century Gallery (1944),
Howard Putzel's 67 Gallery (1945), Betty Parsons Gallery (1947), and
the Sam Kootz Gallery (1947).
- courtesy of "The Interpretive Link - Abstract Surrealism into Abstract Expressionism"
Biography from Hollis Taggart Galleries
Born in Weissenburg, Germany on March 21, 1880. Hofmann began his art studies in Munich (1898), continued in Paris (1903-14), and in 1915 founded his own art school in Munich. While in Paris he was greatly influenced by early modernists, Picasso and Matisse. Hofmann acquired technical knowledge of Mechanics' in Germany and invented the electromagnetic comptometer. As a result of his invention, he came to the U.S. in 1930 to teach at UC Berkeley during the summers of 1930 and 1931, and then taught at the Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles. Settling in NYC in 1932, he taught at the ASL before opening his own schools in NYC and Provincetown, RI. At the outbreak of WWII, he became a U.S. citizen. He closed his schools in 1958 to devote the rest of his life to painting. Hofmann always remembered that UC Berkeley had first introduced him to the U.S. and donated a large collection of his paintings to that school. He died in New York on Feb. 17, 1966. Member: Nat'l Inst. of Arts & Letters. In: AIC; MM; MOMA; SFMA; Oakland Museum; Dallas Museum; Newark Museum; Philadelphia Museum.
Edan Hughes, "Artists in California, 1786-1940"
NY Times, 2-18-1966 (obituary).Nearly 20,000 biographies can be found in Artists in California 1786-1940 by Edan Hughes and is available for sale ($150). For a full book description and order information please click here
Biography from Julie Heller Gallery
Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
Hans Hofmann was one of the twentieth century's most influential teachers and one of its most inspired artists. Originally from Germany, Hofmann immigrated to America in the 1930s and became a citizen of the United States. By the time he came to New York he had not only had direct experience with avant-garde Parisian artists such as Henri Matisse and contemporary movements including Fauvism and Cubism, but also had an understanding of the ideologies of Wassily Kandinsky. Because of his knowledge of European modernism, he became a beacon for aspiring young artists in America. He was among the first to incorporate the ideas of modernism into a system of teaching; his methods influenced several generations of painters.
Hofmann, born March 21, 1880, in Weissenburg, was raised in Germany. In 1886, the family moved to Munich where Hofmann's father was employed by the government. At school, the young Hofmann excelled in mathematics, sciences, and music and learned to play the violin, piano, and organ. He also began to draw. At the age of sixteen, and with his father's assistance, Hofmann was made assistant to the director of Public Works of the State of Bavaria. His keen mathematical skills led to several scientific inventions; science, however, was not his passion.
With a growing interest in art, Hofmann began to pursue formal training in the subject. In 1898, he enrolled in Moritz Heymann's school of art in Munich. He studied with Impressionist painter Willi Schwartz and befriended fellow students such as Jules Pascin. Through Schwartz, Hofmann made the acquaintance of a Berlin collector Philipp Freudenberg in 1903. With Freudenberg's support, Hofmann moved to Paris around 1904 and remained there almost permanently until 1914. Maria (Miz) Wolfegg, whom he met in Munich in 1900 and whom he would eventually marry in 1924, joined him in Paris around 1904.
Hofmann took full advantage of all the opportunities the city had to offer an aspiring artist. He attended night classes at the Ecole de la Grande Chaumière and courses at the Académie Colarossi. While in Paris, he also came to know the leading lights of the vanguard art movements including Matisse, Picasso, Braque, and Robert and Sonia Delaunay--he became particularly close with the Delaunays. His style of painting from this period was heavily influenced by Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism. During these years he began to exhibit his work regularly, particularly in Germany. In 1908 and 1909, he exhibited with the New Succession in Berlin, and in 1910 had his first show at Paul Cassirer Gallery, also in Berlin. Hofmann and Wolfegg's lives, like so many others, were changed dramatically by World War I. In 1914, the couple went to Corsica for Hofmann's health (he suffered from tuberculosis), but were soon called to Germany because of illness in his family. While en route to their homeland, the war broke and they could not return to France. During this time Hofmann discovered Wassily Kandinsky's On the Spiritual in Art and was immediately struck by its philosophy. He also came to know Gabriele Münter, who was a friend of Wolfegg's. She asked him to store some of the works Kandinsky had left behind when he fled to Russia and, in return for this favor, offered him one of the artist's watercolors. Hofmann kept this picture his entire life.
Once confined to Germany, Hofmann discovered that he could not serve in the army because of his lung problems, so he decided to teach. In the spring of 1915, he opened the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in Munich and thereafter teaching became his main focus for the next several decades. Hofmann stated his philosophy of art in the prospectus for his Munich school, "Art does not consist in the objectivized imitation of reality. Without the creative impulse of the artist, even the most perfect imitation of reality is a lifeless form . . . form receives its impulse from nature, but is nevertheless not bound to objective reality; rather, it depends to a much greater extent on the artistic experience evoked by objective reality and the artist's command of the spiritual means of fine art, through which this artistic experience is transformed into reality in painting."(1) These ideals did not change drastically over the years, but the means by which he achieved them did. Among the students who studied with Hofmann after World War I ended were Worth Ryder, Louise Nevelson, Vaclav Vytlacil, Carl Holty, Alfred Jensen, and Ludwig Sander. He held summer classes throughout the 1920s in Bavaria, Ragusa, Capri, and St. Tropez. He also made frequent visits to Paris. Hofmann's demanding schedule left him little free time to paint during these years, but he drew incessantly.
The 1930s were a time of tremendous travel for Hofmann and a period of growing appreciation for his art. In 1930, he was invited by his former pupil Worth Ryder to teach a summer session at the University of California, Berkeley. Ryder was chairperson of the Department of Art at Berkeley. The following year he taught at Berkeley again, and also gave classes at the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles. Also in 1931, Hofmann exhibited a series of drawings at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco; this was his first showing in America. In 1932, Hofmann was asked to instruct at Chouinard again during the summer months; however, because of growing political concerns at home, he did not return to Germany at the end of the sessions, but settled instead in New York and never returned permanently to his homeland. His former student Vytlacil helped him obtain position at the Art Students League. Hofmann tried to keep his own school in Germany open during these years, but in the fall of 1933 classes ceased, and by 1936 the school was closed. In 1939, his wife was able to flee Europe and joined him in America.
While his European school may have folded, Hofmann was determined to keep teaching. In the summers of 1933 and 1934, he was one of the guest instructors at the Thurn School of Art in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Though these kinds of assignments were surely enjoyable, Hofmann wanted his own school, and in the fall of 1933 he established the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in New York. This undertaking had more than one location during its lifetime; it opened at 444 Madison Avenue, moved to 137 East 57th Street in 1936, to 52 West 9th Street in 1936, and to 52 West 8th Street in 1938. Hofmann also found a summer school in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1935. Among his many students were Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Burgoyne Miller, Charles and Ray Eames, Red Grooms, Joan Mitchell, and Larry Rivers. Through a series of lectures given in the winter of 1938-1939, Hofmann also came to know Arshile Gorky and the critic Clement Greenberg. By means of his tireless and tremendous teaching efforts Hofmann influenced and inspired generations of artists. His own paintings from this period show the continued influence of early European modernism, especially the ideologies of Matisse.
In the 1940s, Hofmann began to achieve recognition for his painting and became an integral part of the vanguard American art scene. In 1941, soon after he became an American citizen, he had a one-person show at the Isaac Delgado Museum of Art in New Orleans. The following year Lee Krasner introduced Hofmann to Jackson Pollock. In the early and mid forties, Hofmann and Pollock both experimented with dripping their paint onto their canvases. Around 1944, Pollock introduced Hofmann to Peggy Guggenheim who arranged his first solo show in New York at her Art of This Century Gallery. During the forties Hofmann's approach to painting began to change and his imagery became much more abstract, though identifiable subject matter still appeared in his pictures from this period.
Throughout the 1940s, Hofmann exhibited regularly in group and one-person shows. Among the venues that included his works were the Arts Club of Chicago, the Milwaukee Institute of Arts, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, and 67 Gallery, Mortimer Brandt Gallery, and Betty Parsons Gallery, all in New York. Paintings by him were also seen in galleries and museums in Pittsburgh, Denton, Texas, Norman, Oklahoma, and Memphis, Tennessee. Beginning in 1947, Hofmann was represented by the Kootz Gallery in Manhattan and had a solo show there almost every year until his death. Toward the end of the 1940s, Hofmann was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Addison Gallery of American Art at The Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In addition, the Parisian Galerie Maeght held a major exhibition of Hofmann's work in 1949. Hofmann renewed his friendships with Picasso and Braque when he visited France for this show.
In the final decades of his life, Hofmann was much more prolific as an artist. He also remained at the center of activity amongst the group of artists referred to as the Abstract Expressionists. He participated in many solo and group exhibitions, including the XXX Venice Biennale. In the 1950s and 1960s, several retrospectives of his work were held at institutions such as the Art Alliance of Philadelphia, the Whitney Museum of American Art (which traveled to Des Moines, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Utica, and Baltimore), the Fränkischen Galerie in Nuremberg (which traveled to Cologne and Berlin), and the Museum of Modern Art. The MoMA show was sent to venues across America as well as in South America and Europe.
In 1958, Hofmann gave up his forty-odd-year teaching career and devoted himself to painting full time. He moved his studio into the buildings once occupied by his New York and Provincetown art schools. In his late works Hofmann abandoned almost all reference to recognizable imagery and dedicated himself to the explorations of color, space, and form in his pictures. His style alternated between the highly energized and gestured drip paintings and the quieter, heavily paint-laden, and constructed rectangles. In addition, Hofmann suggested meaning and relationships in his paintings through evocative and descriptive titles.
During the final years of his life Hans Hofmann received many accolades. He was awarded an honorary membership in the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Nuremberg. He was also given honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from Dartmouth College, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Pratt Institute, New York. In addition, he received the Solomon Guggenheim International Award. Also, he was made a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters.
The 1960s were a time of yet more change in Hofmann's life, personally and professionally. In 1963, Maria (Miz) Hofmann died. The same year Hofmann donated forty-five of his paintings to the University of California, Berkeley and agreed to help fund the construction of a permanent space to display his work in the new university museum. In 1964, he met Renate Schmitz, his junior by nearly fifty years, who was the inspiration for the Renate Series of paintings executed by Hofmann in 1965. In that year, and four month before Hofmann's death, the two married.
Hans Hofmann died in New York, February 17, 1966.
University of California, Berkeley; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Santa Barbara Museum of Art; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT; Tale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE; High Art Museum, Atlanta, GA; Wallrof Richartz Museum, Koln, Germany; The Art Institute of Chicago; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Indianapolis Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; The Baltimore Museum of Art; Flint Institute of Arts, Flint, MI; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; The Newark Museum, NJ; Montclair Art Museum, NJ; The Brooklyn Museum of Art; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; New York University Collection; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY; The Cleveland Museum of Art; The Toledo Museum of Art; Portland Art Museum, OR; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; Seattle Art Museum; The Saint Louis Museum of Art; Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada; and Tate Gallery, London, England
Yohe, James, ed. Hans Hofmann, with essays by Hans Hofmann, Sam Hunter, Frank Stella, and Tina Dickey. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2002.
Dickey, Tina and Friedel, Helmut. Hans Hofmann. Munich: Lenbachhaus, 1997; New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1998.
Goodman, Cynthia. Hans Hofmann. Munich: Prestel-Verlag, 1990.
Bannard, Walter Darby. Hans Hofmann: A Retrospective Exhibition. Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, 1976.
Hunter, Sam. Hans Hofmann. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers, 1963.
1) Helmut Friedel, "To sense the invisible and to be able to create it--that is art," in Hans Hofmann (Munich: Lenbachhaus, 1997; New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1998), 9.
HANS HOFMANN (1880-1966)
Biography from ACME Fine Art
Hans Hofmann, son of Theodor and Franziska Hofmann, was born in Weissenburg, Bavaria on March 21st, 1880. When he was six years old, the family moved to Munich where his father took a job working with the government. Hofmann developed an interest in mathematics, science, music and art at a very early age. In 1898, Hofmann studied at Moritz Heymann's art school in Munich. It was there that Hofmann was introduced to Impressionism and Pointillism, the burgeoning new art movements of the time. In 1904, with the financial support of Berlin art patron Phillip Freudenberg, Hofmann relocated to the center of all new developments in art: Paris. Miz later joined him, and the two lived in Paris for ten years during one of the most revolutionary periods in the history of Western art. Continuing his exploration at both the Academie de la Grand Chaumiere and the Academie Colarossi, Hofmann befriended many of the leaders of the Modernist movement. He also frequented the Café du Dome, a haunt of many artists and writers of the French avant-garde. There he became acquainted with pioneers like Matisse, Picasso and Bracques. His closest and perhaps most influential friendship was with Robert Delaunay, who, together with his wife Sonia, launched a mini-movement known as Orphism, or Organic Cubism. The Delaunay's approach, with its emphasis on color over form, clearly made an impression on Hofmann. Both he and Miz helped design scarves for Sonia Delaunay's Cubist fashions, and eventually Hofmann began to form his own color and composition theories, which he continued to develop and write about throughout his lifetime and later passed on to his many students.
In 1908 and 1909, Hofmann exhibited his work with the New Secession in Berlin. Soon after, Hans and Miz left Paris and traveled first to Corsica where Hans could recover from a brush with tuberculosis. They then moved back to Germany to look after his ill sister, during which time the war broke out in Europe. Because of his German citizenship, Hofmann was not allowed to return to Paris and due to his lung condition he was disqualified from the army. Thus, he remained in Munich during the First World War and opened the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in the spring of 1915. The school gained recognition worldwide when the war ended, and summer sessions in Capri, St. Tropez and Bavaria attracted many foreign students. Glenn Wessels, Louise Nevelson, Carl Holty, Alfred Jensen and Worth Ryder were among Hofmann's students at this time, and many of them stayed in touch with Hofmann over the years.
In 1930, Worth Ryder invited Hofmann to teach a summer session at the University of California at Berkeley where he was the chairman of the Department of Art. This was the beginning of a meaningful long-term relationship between Hofmann and U.C. Berkeley, culminating years later in a special arrangement: Hofmann donated 45 paintings to the University on the condition that the school promise to construct an art museum on campus. In the spring of 1931, Hofmann returned to California to teach at the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles, and then resumed summer courses at Berkeley. Though he had little time to paint, he still managed to draw as much as possible, and he took advantage of the California climate and landscape to continue his artistic exploration of nature. His first public exhibition in the United States was held that year at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, in Germany, Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels created the Reichs Kammern (Reich Chambers) for film, music, radio, broadcasting, press, theater and fine arts. The Reichs Kammern carefully monitored the cultural details of German life, and procedures were established to deem what was acceptable expression and what was not. With hostility mounting towards intellectuals in Germany, Miz advised Hans not to return to Munich. In 1932 he settled in New York City, where he taught at the Art Students League on 57th Street. In 1933, Hofmann opened the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts at 444 Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Over the next few years, though the school would relocate several times, its reputation continued to spread. Art students from all over North America heard of the unique teacher from Europe who imparted to American students what he had learned from Picasso, Braque, Matisse and Delaunay. He became known as an instructor who allowed his students to explore and experiment with their own technique while still encouraging them to take their visual cues from the natural world surrounding them.
A summer school was opened in Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1934, and Hofmann divided his time between the city and the coast.
It wasn't until late in Hofmann's career that his reputation as an artist finally began to catch up with his reputation as a teacher. At the age of 64, Hofmann's first exhibition in New York was organized by Peggy Guggenheim and held at the Art of This Century Gallery. In 1949 he returned to Paris for the opening of his exhibition at the Galerie Maeght. During his visit, he returned to the studios of his contemporaries, Picasso, Braque, Brancusi and Miro. In 1955, Clement Greenberg organized a retrospective of Hofmann's work at Bennington College, and in 1957 there was a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum in New York. In spite of his growing recognition as a painter, it wasn't until 1958, at the age of 78, that Hofmann was finally able to resign as a teacher and devote himself fully to his art. Though a generation older than Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Clyfford Still and Willem de Kooning, Hofmann took his place as a major and influential member of this thoroughly American art movement. In 1960, Hofmann was one of four artists representing the United States at the Venice Biennale, and three years later a retrospective exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art traveled throughout the United States and internationally to South America and Europe. Lowery Sims, who curated Hofmann's 1999 retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum, says of the artist's late bloom, "Hans Hofmann came into his own in the 1950s and 60s when he's in his seventies and eighties… It sort of defies the notion that creativity is only the province of the young. He's a really great example for people to understand that creativity is a lifelong promise."
On February 17, 1966 Hofmann died at the age of 86. On his easel was another painting, almost finished, dedicated to Renate. Retrospectives and exhibitions continue to this day, and his work is in permanent collections in galleries and museums from New York to New Zealand.
From the PBS Biography - Hans Hofmann, Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist
Biography from Leslie Sacks Fine Art
Studies painting with Willi Schwarz at Moritz Heymann's art school, Munich, 1898
Ecole de la Grand Chaumiere
University of California, 1931
California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1931
Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans, 1941
The Arts Club of Chicago, 1944
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio, 1944
Denver Art Museum, 1944
Seattle Art Museum, 1944
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 1944
San Francisco Museum of Art, 1944
67 Gallery, New York, 1944
Art of This Century Gallery, New York, 1944
Mortimer Brandt Gallery, New York, 1944
University of Illinois, 1944
Milwaukee Art Institute, Wisconsin, 1945
67 Gallery, New York, 1945
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1945
American Contemporary Gallery, Hollywood, CA, 1946
Addison Gallery of American Art, MA, 1947
The Art Institute of Chicago, 1947
Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, 1947
University of Oklahoma, 1947
Memphis Academy of Arts, 1947
Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, 1947
Kootz Gallery, New York, 1947
Whitney Museum of American Art, 1947
University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 1951
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, 1951
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1951
Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, 1952
Baltimore Museum of Art, 1954
Bennington College, Vermont, 1955
Museo Nacional de Arte Moderna, Palacio de las Bellas Artes, Mexico City,
XXX Venice Biennale, Venice, 1960
American Federation of Arts traveling exhibition, 1961
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1961
Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, 1962
International House, Denver, 1963
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1963
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, 1963
Worth Ryder Art Gallery, University of California, Berkeley, 1964
American Art Gallery, Copenhagen Denmark, 1964
Tate Gallery, London, 1964
San Francisco Museum of Art, 1965
Stanford Art Museum, CA, 1966
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 1966
Andre Emmerich Gallery, New York, 1967
Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, 1968
Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, 1968
New York: Everson Museum, Syracuse, 1969
David Mirvish Gallery, Toronto, 1969
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1970
Waddington Galleries III, London, 1973
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1973
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., 1975
Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, England, 1977
Kunstmuseum, Bern, 1979
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1979
Haus der Kunst, Munich, 1981
Vatican Museums and International Exhibitions Foundation, Rome, 1984
Yares Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ, 1984
The Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas, 1985
C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore, 1986
Lever/Meyerson Galleries, Ltd., New York, 1986
The Tate Gallery, London, 1988
Marianne Friedland Gallery, Toronto, 1988
Boston University Art Gallery, Boston, 1994
Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, 1996
Jason mcCoy, Inc., New York, 1998
Ameringer/Howard Fine Art, Boca Raton, FL, 1999
Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, 1999
Seattle Art Museum, 1999
Berta Walker Gallery, Provincetown, MA, 2000
Provincetown Art Association and Museum, MA, 2000
The Newark Museum, NJ, 2001
Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, 2001
John Berggruen Gallery, San Francisco, CA, 2001
Ackland Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Chapel hill, NC
Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Allied Corporation, Morristown, NJ
Art Gallery of Toronto
Art institute of Chicago, IL
Aspen Art Museum, CO
Australian national Gallery, Canberra
Berkeley Museum, Berkeley, CA
Boston Museum of Fine Arts, MA
Brooklyn Museum, NY
Cincinnati Museum, OH
City of Auckland Art Gallery, New Zealand
Germanische National Museum, Nurnberg
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Honolulu Academy of Arts, HI
J.B. Speed Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Milwaukee Art Museum, WI
Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Museu d'Art Contemporani, Barcelona
Museum for Contemporary Art, Dallas, TX
Cleveland Museum of Art, OH
Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
Museum of Modern Art, NY
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Newark Museum, NJ
Philadelphia Museum, PA
S.C. Johnson & Son Collection, Racine, WI
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, NY
The Tate Gallery, London
The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
The Wilmington Society of Fine Arts, DE
Toledo Museum of Art, OH
Union Trust Bank, Baltimore, MD
University Art Museum, University of Texas, Corpus Christi, TX
University of Illinois Art collection, Urbana, IL
University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
University of Nebraska Art Galleries, Lincoln, NE
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Washington University, St. Louis, MO
Wells Fargo Bank, San Francisco, CA
Whitney Museum of American Art, NY
William H. Lane Foundation, Leominster, MA
Woodward Foundation, Urbana IL
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
This German-born painter and teacher became an American citizen in
1941. Born in Weissenburg, Bavaria, Hoffman was raised in Munich, where
he studied at numerous art schools. From 1904 to 1914 he lived in
Paris, under the patronage of Berlin collector Philip Freudenberg.
There he mixed with many of the leading figures of Fauvism and Cubism,
such as Kandinsky and Delaunay. In 1915 he founded his own art school
in Munich and taught there successfully until 1932.
** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
At this time, he immigrated to the United States, likely as a result of
visits to the U.S. in 1930 and 1931 where he taught at the University
of California, in Berkeley. He founded the Hans Hoffman School of Fine
Arts in New York in 1934, building on that success by adding a summer
school at Provincetown, Massachusetts.
The painter became a teacher of enormous influence on the small number
of American artists who participated in abstract painting throughout
the 1930s. Hoffman continued teaching until 1958, when he chose to
close his school in order to concentrate on his own painting. This was
an effort to counter criticism that he was merely an academic figure of
the avant garde rather than a significant creative artist in his own
During the course of his career, Hoffman experimented with many styles,
and pioneered the technique of dripping and pouring paint, a technique
later associated with Jackson Pollock. In contrast, his later works
were characterized by rectangular blocks of reasonably solid color atop
a more broken background field. Hoffman died in February of 1966 in New
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