Hans Hofmann (United States, born Germany, 1880–1966) is acclaimed for his voluptuous, muscular abstract paintings. His teaching, lectures, and writings helped to shape several generations' conceptions of what a work of art could be. Hofmann's students included Helen Frankenthaler, Alfred Jensen, Wolf Kahn, Lee Krasner, Louise Nevelson, Red Grooms, Paul Resika, and Marisol, among many others, and the critic Clement Greenberg often said that Hofmann's lectures were crucial to the formation of his aesthetic.
Yet this celebrated artist's works on paper remain little known, although he drew extensively in ink, crayon, watercolor, gouache, and other media throughout his life. When teaching, Hofmann demonstrated his ideas about evoking space as linear "diagrams." His first American exhibition, held in 1931 at the University of California, Berkeley (where he was teaching a summer course), and the Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, was exclusively of black and white drawings. The present exhibition, the first complete overview of this important aspect of Hofmann's art, surveys his life-long engagement with drawing, watercolor, and painting on paper. These powerful images enlarge the understanding for those familiar with Hofmann and provide an intimate introduction for those encountering his work for the first time.
This exhibition was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural institute at the University of North Florida and generously supported by The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann 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.