Tuesday Mar 22, 2011
Hans Hofmann Remembered
© Arnold Newman
Hans Hofmann, (born March 21, 1880, Weissenberg, Ger.died Feb. 17, 1966, New York, N.Y., U.S.), German painter who was one of the most influential art teachers of the 20th century. He pioneered the use of improvisatory techniques; his work opened the way for the first generation of post-World War II American painters to develop Abstract Expressionism.
Hofmann’s painting Spring (1940) was among the earliest works to employ the paint-dripping technique associated with the American painter Jackson Pollock.
In his book, Search for the Real, Hofmann writes:
Art is magic. So say the surrealists. But how is it magic? In its metaphysical development? Or does some final transformation culminate in a magic reality? In truth, the latter is impossible without the former. If creation is not magic, the outcome cannot be magic. To worship the product and ignore its development leads to dilettantism and reaction. Art cannot result from sophisticated, frivolous, or superficial effects.
Hofmann wrote it down, and now you know, too.
Thank you for acknowledging Hofmann, who was a great painter himself.
If you look at his painting Spring, you can immediately see the relationship to Pollock’s drippings.