Hofmann, Hans

Hofmann, Hans,

1880–1966, American painter, b. Germany. After earning a considerable reputation as a teacher in Munich, Hofmann moved permanently to the United States in 1930. He opened his own schools of art in New York City and in Provincetown, which were central to the development of abstract expressionismabstract expressionism,
movement of abstract painting that emerged in New York City during the mid-1940s and attained singular prominence in American art in the following decade; also called action painting and the New York school.
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. Hofmann's work, influenced by Kandinsky, expresses his tremendous exuberance in his handling of violent, clashing colors. Representative examples of his art are Germania (Baltimore Mus. of Art) and Elegy (Walker Art Center, Minneapolis).


See his writings, ed. by S. Hunter (2d ed. 1964) and by W. C. Seitz (1963, repr. 1972).

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Hofmann, Hans

(1880–1966) painter, teacher; born in Weissenberg, Germany. He settled in America (1932) and in the 1950s became well-known as an abstract expressionist, an approach to painting that stressed nonrepresentational form and color as a means of expressing emotional content. He taught at the University of California: Berkeley in 1930–31 and began his own school in New York (1934), influencing such artists as Burgoyne Diller, Louise Nevelson and Helen Frankenthaler. He used many styles, but remained true to his search for what he called "the inner life of things." His distinctive approach is seen in such notable works as Effervescence (1944), and Fantasia in Blue (1954).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.