Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hans Hofmann: Pioneering the American Abstract Expressionist Movement

Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
Suburbian, 1936
casein on panel, 20  x 24 in.

Hans Hofmann is widely known as one of the most important figures in post-war American Art.  Originally developing his artistic and teaching career in his native Germany, he moved to the United States in the early 1930’s.  In 1932, Hofmann settled in New York City and soon after established the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, following a brief teaching position at the Art Students League. In 1935 Hofmann introduced the famed summer outpost of his school in Provincetown, MA. Hofmann’s influence extended well beyond his own personal artistic success, counting prominent artists including Helen Frankenthaler, Joan Mitchell, Wolf Kahn, Lee Krasner, Carl Holty,Louise NevelsonRobert De Niro Sr., and Frank Stella among his many students.

Suburbian was painted in 1936, during the early years when Hofmann split his time between New York and Provincetown. Greatly inspired by the Cape Cod landscape, Hofmann used bold, expressive strokes of casein paint to represent lawns, buildings, and trees creating an opulent visual experience of the American landscape.

In 1944, Hofmann’s first major exhibition in New York was organized by Peggy Guggenheim and held at the Art of This Century Gallery. A decade later, Clement Greenberg organized a notable retrospective at Bennington College, and in 1957 the Whitney Museum hosted a major retrospective of Hofmann’s work. 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.

With this great recognition, Hofmann took his place as a major and influential member of the thoroughly-American art movement of Abstract Expressionism. Today, Hofmann’s works can be found in the permanent collections of major American art museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Gallery, among many others.

Contact the gallery for additional information about this work: or 203.869.3664