The Fabian & Claude Walter Gallery is pleased to present paintings by Hanspeter Hofmann during the ‘Metamemory’ exhibition, comprised of works by the artist from 2014 to 2018. The exhibition attempts to explore the underlying principles behind Hofmann’s work. The following quotations have been chosen to enable visitors to better understand the focus of the exhibition. The quotations stem from the Kunstbulletin, as well as catalogues from solo exhibitions of the artist’s work held at venues such as the Kunsthalle Basel, Kunsthalle Freiburg, Kunsthaus Glarus, Villa Arson Nice and Kunsthaus Graz.
Hofmann sees himself as a member of a forward-looking, discursive consumer-, research- and communication based society, whose rules and mechanisms he adopts without restraint, while also commenting upon and scrutinising them. Christoph Doswald, 2007 When it comes to the works of Hanspeter Hofmann, it is often mentioned that he worked in the field of chemical research before taking up painting. Hofmann loves experiments.
As a former scientist, he does not simply evaluate the results of his research as good or bad; instead, he is well aware that every result can prove useful. What interests him is the knowledge that is acquired along the way. And just as he once opted to conduct scientific experiments, today he chooses to create art. Dorothea Strauss, 2004 Hofmann’s paintings are experiments first and foremost, because from the very outset they define a framework and use a specific imagery to create a free space, in which the painting can be illustrated in its entire processuality between calculation and chance. Philipp Kaiser, 2002 The cross-fading of what is natural and what is artistic opens up a new level of meaning in which the current discussion surrounding the possibilities and limits of artificially created life reaches a virulence that is both surprising and frightening. This sort of short-circuiting of content might presuppose a kind of conceptually conceivable structure that suggests a coherently decipherable parallel world within the artwork. But in actuality, the work refuses to fit in such a structure, and leaves any one dimensional attempts at interpreting it to miss the mark. The image moves in a continuous loop, running from a vast array of references to innumerable types of language, all the while insisting on the autonomy of artistic form.
Konrad Bitterli, 2000 It seems as though Hofmann were seeking to create artificial, alternative conceptions of reality through his pictures, yet with an abiding awareness of the illusion of any attempt at breaking free, and an acknowledgement of the necessity of failure. The composition and disintegration of the image are two sides of the same coin. As such, I see Hofmann’s paintings as an expression of both radiant optimism and deep doubt – a disquieting yet fascinating combination. Mirjam Varadinis, 2003 It goes without saying that Hanspeter Hofmann’s paintings are abstract images, and that they form and behave according to this artistic tradition. His images are interesting precisely because they do not address conventional pairs of contrasts in an objective, abstract fashion at a formal level, but rather initiate a multivectoral space for associations and discourse that draws upon considerations of form, content and experience. Beatrix Ruf 2003 Hofmann’s method can be seen as a sympathetic way of extricating himself from the lavish tradition of painting.
We find an artist endowed with both a microscopic and macroscopic perspective, using the canvas as his area of investigation and training his gaze on questions about the conditions and functions that make up an image. The resulting configurations are far from theory-based tutorials or dry models, but rather sensory examinations of the moment in which vague inklings are peeled back to reveal all the sharpness and clarity of an image that has risen up from the foundations of its own history, but cannot exist independently of that past on its own volition.