Hans Hofmann: Works on Paper

Hans Hofmann: Works on Paper

German-born artist Hans Hofmann was a major force in mid-century American abstraction. Through his own work and that of students such as Helen Frankenthaler and Lee Krasner, Hofmann helped usher in a new emphasis on relationships between form, color, and space—what he called the “push and pull” of figure and ground in abstract painting. Hofmann is best known for his so-called “Slab” paintings of the 1960s, in which he paired bold rectangles against thick brushwork to create vibrating abstract compositions. Throughout his career, he also worked consistently in pen, ink, gouache, crayon, and watercolor. More intimate in scale than many of his canvases, Hofmann’s works on paper constituted a key way for the artist to experiment with self-portraiture, figure studies, landscapes, and abstraction.

This exhibition, organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Jacksonville, Florida, offers audiences a rare glimpse into this dynamic painter’s maturation by bringing together works on paper from various points in his long career. Early drawings in the exhibition date from Hofmann’s time in Europe in the 1910s and his first visit to the United States as a visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1930. Hofmann eventually settled in New York, but spent key moments of his career in Provincetown, Massachusetts, where he created some of his most lushly toned works on paper. The exhibition also showcases several stunning late-career abstractions, which display the breadth of the artist’s vision and his ceaseless experimentation. Don’t miss this opportunity to see this array of work on paper by one of the 20th century’s great masters of abstraction.
 

Curated by Karen Wilkin and Marcelle Polednik.

This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural institute of the University of North Florida and generously supported by the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofman Trust.

The PMA's presentation is generously supported by the Friends of the Collection.
Established in 1983, the Friends of the Collection comprises individuals whose generosity directly supports the acquisition, conservation, and care for the collection as well as related programming. Our collection of more than 18,000 works of art is the heart of the institution, and the Friends of the Collection is instrumental in shaping and maintaining it.

Corporate Sponsor: The Bear Bookshop, Marlboro, VT

Media Sponsor: Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors

Image credit: TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT: Hans Hofmann (United States, born Germany, 1880-1966), Ambush (detail), 1944, oil on paper, 24 x 19 1/8 inches. The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Purchase, 51.1952. With permission of the Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Hans Hofmann (United States, born Germany, 1880-1966), Construction (detail), 1948, ink and oil on paper mounted on board, 23 3/8 x 20 1/2 inches. Whitney Museum, New York Purchase, 50.4. With permission of the Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust/ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. 

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June 9, 2017
Associate Curator of American Art

Diana Greenwold is the Associate Curator of American Art at the Portland Museum of Art. In addition to organizing permanent and temporary exhibitions related to the PMA's collection of decorative arts, Diana also recently curated an exhibition of contemporary sculpture, Duncan Hewitt: Turning Strange. Diana completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, from which she also received her master's degree. A graduate of Yale University, Diana was most recently the Douglass Fellow in the American Wing at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and has worked at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the De Young Museum in San Francisco. A native of Washington, D.C., Diana is still adjusting to the temperatures of New England, but is delighted to be part of PMA curatorial team.