Hans Hofmann (1880 – 1966) lived and breathed as an abstract painter and educator amidst some of the greatest fellow abstract artists of all time in postwar America. He emigrated from his native Germany to America in the 1930s to teach at UC Berkeley. Then he taught at the Art Students League of New York before founding his famously influential schools in New York City and Provincetown. He counted Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Wassily Kandinsky, Sonia and Robert Delauney, Betty Parsons, Peggy Guggenheim, Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock as colleagues and friends.
This exhibit of 70 original works – many never before seen in a gallery – could not be in a more spacious setting. Do not think you will only see more of what you already know of Hoffman; he will surprise you! After closing his schools in 1957 he returned to his studio with the heart of an experimental artist fully operating. You will see his relentless immersion in color, always playing with moving rectilinear forms around an untethered surface, beckoning you to look deep inside.
Hours are Sunday, Wednesday Thursday 11 am – 7 pm; Fri Sat 11 am – 9 pm; closed Mon Tues. Free on the first Thursday of every month. See website for ticket prices. Enjoy coffee, homemade pastries or lunch with wine or beer at Babette’s cafe atop the stunning modern architecture housing BAMPFA.
Image: Hans Hofmann, Such is the Way to the Stars (Sic Itur ad Astra), 1962, oil on canvas.