CURRENT AND UPCOMING

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, CA,  Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction, 25 February - 21 July 2019.* Traveling: Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA (27 September 2019 - 6 January 2020).

A comprehensive examination to date of Hofmann's innovative and prolific artistic practice. The exhibition will feature approximately 80 paintings and work on paper, from public and private collections across North America and Europe. Curated by BAMPFA’s Curator Emerita Lucinda Barnes, the chronological exhibition opens with works created by Hofmann during his formative years in the 1930s and ’40s, after he emigrated from his native Germany to the United States, where he taught at UC Berkeley, then the Art Students League of New York, before establishing his famously influential schools in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Accompanied by a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue on Hofmann’s career, the exhibition marks the most significant opportunity to reexamine the artist’s legacy since his death in 1966. Since that time, discourse around Hofmann has focused primarily on the remarkable color plane abstractions he created the 1950s and ’60s, which were the focus of major exhibitions at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art during his lifetime. Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction offers an even broader perspective on Hofmann’s body of work, reconnecting many of the artist’s most iconic late-career paintings from the MoMA and Whitney exhibitions with dozens of remarkably robust, prescient, and understudied works from the 1930s and ’40s to chart the trajectory of his singular style. This comprehensive view of Hofmann’s oeuvre advances a growing public and scholarly reassessment of the artist ignited by the rich revelations of the catalogue raisonné of his paintings, which was published in 2014.

Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction marks a major milestone in BAMPFA’s unique history with the artist, who in 1963 donated to UC Berkeley nearly fifty of his most significant paintings, along with a substantial cash contribution toward the construction of a new museum building. In addition to supporting the realization of UC Berkeley’s first purpose-built art museum, this transformative gift established twentieth-century painting as a major strength of BAMPFA’s encyclopedic collection, which today includes the world’s most extensive museum holdings of Hofmann’s work.

A symposium on Hofmann is scheduled for 9 March 2019.

Bertha and Karl Leubsorf Gallery, Hunter College, New York, The Drawing Master: Hans Hofmann in the Bay Area, 1931, opens 28 February 2019.*

At the invitation of the artist and educator Worth Ryder, Hans Hofmann traveled from Munich to teach at the University of California at Berkeley in 1930. In the summer of 1931, Hofmann mounted his first exhibitions in the United States at the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco and across the bay at Berkeley’s Havilland Hall.  Ryder helped to organize the exhibitions, and he apologized in his short catalogue text for the Legion of Honor that the exhibition included only drawings rather than the artist’s paintings—“but,” he insisted, “in these drawings, so small in size yet so vast in scope, the greatest achievements of modern art are in solution. The exhibition at Hunter College will revisit Hofmann’s 1931 exhibitions and the drawings Hofmann showed, to attempt to see what Ryder saw as the solutions of modern art. 

The Drawing Master: Hans Hofmann in the Bay Area, 1931 is organized by Hunter College MA students and Hofmann Research Fellows Mindy Friedman, Chika Jenkins, Anna Tome, and Sula Ulug, with Howard Singerman, professor and Phyllis and Joseph Caroff Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Hunter College.  It is supported by a generous grant from the Renate, Hans, and Maria Hofmann Trust.

Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Provincetown, MA, Color Beyond Description: The Watercolors of Charles Hawthorne, Hans Hofmann, and Paul Resika, 24 July - 13 September 2019.

Curator, Robert Dutoit’s exhibition examines the watercolors of Charles Hawthorne, Hans Hofmann, and Paul Resika. These three major artists’ careers span several generations bridging the nineteenth century to the modern era. One of the founders of the early Provincetown Art Colony, Charles Hawthorne was primarily a portrait painter of local people and fishing life. Alongside and counter to his oil portraits, he made free flowing watercolors using light filled planes of color which move through space and prefigure modernist use of color and abstraction. Hans Hofmann, a mid-century teacher in Provincetown and New York . Hofmann’s watercolors and crayon drawings emphasize movement of color in space. Paul Resika, one of Hofmann’s students and a colorist painter of the New York School, caries on the tradition of Hawthorne’s “color spot” and Hofmann’s “push-pull” with his use of vibrant watercolor and Gouache.

* indicates a catalogue or brochure sponsored by The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust Hofmann Trust was published in conjunction with the exhibition.