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 Helen Bacon Hoffman  (1930 - )

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Lived/Active: Florida/Texas      Known for: pastel contemporary realist figure, portrait, still life, landscape and seascape painting

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Ad Code: 4
Helen Bacon Hoffman
from Auction House Records.
Pink Hibiscus
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from NanEtte Richardson Fine Art:
Helen Bacon Hoffman is a realist who works in both oils and pastels. Hoffman’s talent is in the tone she sets through the action of light, shadows and reflected light. In each of her paintings, the viewer will observe exquisite depictions of everyday settings made extraordinary by beautifully drawn contrasts of light and shadow. Maturity of expression and dramatic mood are the hallmarks of all her works.

She characterizes herself as a contemporary realist. Using both oil and pastel with equal ease and gusto, Hoffman transforms simple life events into meaningful experiences. Never one to politicize, she paints for the sheer joy of it and hopes that the viewer finds pleasure in the viewing. Her work runs the gamut of subject matter – figures, still life, landscape, seascape, architecture – all done with the same flawlessness. Each individual painting abides by steadfast techniques with variations according to subject matter. Her use of light and shadow is probably the dominant feature of every single Hoffman painting, whether in oil or pastel. The artist approaches her work by “seeing it first;” not by imagination. However, artistic license is exercised freely to achieve the desired effect.

Hoffman says “I want to explore the familiar, to discover the world around me, rather than create one of my own. Whether it is in the bustle of a market place or the quiet moment of a reader with his book, there is a mood created that I try to share on canvas. I want to involve my viewers and give them a moment of pleasure.”

According to Webster's Dictionary, a maverick is “an independent individual who refuses to conform with his/her group.” By definition and by birth, Helen Hoffman is a Maverick, the noun being derived from the surname of an early Texas rancher, Samuel A. Maverick (Helen’s great-great grandfather.) Helen Hoffman was born in San Antonio, Texas and began studying art as a teenager with the noted Southwest artist, Hugo Pohl. She majored in art at Ogontz College, now a part of the University of Pennsylvania, and continued her studies at the Parsons School of Design in New York City. Later, Hoffman studied at West Point, New York with the artist Herbert E. Abrams.

When she married an Army officer, Richard Hoffman, her husband’s career meant travel for her and her three children. His frequent overseas assignments required that she balance her artistic career with managing home and family. Hoffman took advantage of her nomadic life by painting wherever she found herself. Even now, she returns to her former haunts of Hawaii, Mexico and Europe to paint. Hoffman also finds intriguing subjects for her paintings in Florida, her current residence. One of Hoffman’s favorite sources of inspiration is her greenhouse where she cultivates exotic orchids.

Hoffman’s career has included an impressive listing of awards, shows, permanent exhibits and society memberships, details of which can be found in the Awards and Accomplishments section.

    •    Oil And Pastel

    •    Ogontz College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    •    Parsons School of Design, New York, New York

    •    American Art League, New York, NY
    •    Artists Equity Association, Washington DC Chapter
    •    Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Club, New York, NY
    •    National Society of Arts and Letters, Washington DC Chapter
    •    Pastel Society of America, New York, NY
    •    Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
    •    Society of Washington Artists, Washington, DC
    •    The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
    •    The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
    •    The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO
    •    The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia, PA
    •    The Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL
    •    The Instituto Norte Americano Mexicano de Relationes Culturales, Mexico City, Mexico

    •    River Art Show, San Antonio, TX 1960-1962
    •    Pentagon Art Show, Washington, DC 1964, 1965
    •    DC Outdoor Art Fair, Washington, DC 1965
    •    Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC 1965
    •    Society of Washington Artists, Washington, DC 1966
    •    The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA 1969
    •    Catherine Lorrilard Wolfe Art Club, New York, NY 1973
    •    Salmagundi Club, New York, NY 1974
    •    Pastel Society of America, New York, NY 1976, 1978, 1985
    •    Master Pastelist, PSA 1985

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