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Hans Hofmann Art

German, 1897-1957

The only artist of the New York school to participate directly in European modernism, Hans Hofmann became known as the major exponent of Abstract Expressionism.

Hans Hofmann paintings are known for their manic, exuberant energy. Among 20th-century masters, he was the first to consolidate and codify the lessons of modernism into a teaching system. Hofmann was also a widely influential art instructor with schools in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts. He was described by New York Times critic Clement Greenberg as "the most important teacher of our time" (Peter Falk, Who Was Who in American Art). Approximately six-thousand students studied modernist art with him, among the well-known names are Helen Frankenthaler, Jane Freilicher, Wolf Kahn, Larry Rivers and Nell Blaine.

Hofmann was born in Weissenberg, Germany, showed a precocious interest in music and science, and had early training in mechanics while working for the Director of Public Works of Bavaria between 1896 and 1898. On that job, he invented the electromagnetic comptometer, the precursor of the adding machine.

Hofmann began to study art in 1898 in Munich where he was introduced to Impressionism. From 1904 to 1914, he studied in Paris and was exposed to many of the avant-garde artists and movements of that time including Fauvism, Cubism, and Surrealism. He was much taken with the exploration of pure color for its own sake, especially as investigated by Picasso, Braque, Matisse, and Delaunay. In Munich at the outbreak of World War I, he founded an art school and was highly successful until 1932 when he emigrated to America, having spent the summers in 1930 and 1931 teaching at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1932, he began teaching at the Arts Students League in New York and the following year opened his own schools in New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts.

During the 1930s and 1940s, American Scene painting was prevalent, but Hofmann resisted that style, staying with the modernism to which he had been exposed in Europe. Hence he was later credited as a courageous pioneer in America of European modern art. He closed both of his schools in 1958 so he could devote himself full time to his own painting. He died in New York City in 1966.

Hofmann said he always based his paintings on the subject of nature, and he used vivid colors such as bright blues, greens oranges and yellows and applied them with palette knives in long slashing strokes. He viewed the surface of the canvas as alive, responsive, and active, often with opposing forces which he created with his theory of "push and pull," and which is closely tied to theories of Paul Cezanne. He also experimented with dripping paint onto the canvas, a method Jackson Pollock learned and later made famous.

Find original Hans Hofmann art on 1stDibs.

(Biography provided by Fine Art San Diego)

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Artist: Hans Hofmann
original lithograph
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph was printed in 1950 for the "Improvisations" portfolio, published by the Artists Equity Association of New York on the occasion of the 19...
Category

1950s Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Lithograph

original lithograph
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Henderson, NV
Medium: original lithograph. This lithograph was printed in 1951 for the "Improvisations" portfolio, published by the Artists Equity Association of New York on the occasion of the 19...
Category

1950s Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Lithograph

Untitled
By Hans Hofmann
Located in New York, NY
Signed and dated lower right: 49; on verso: to Mrs. / Justina Hart / New York / April 24. 50 / Hans Hofmann
Category

20th Century Abstract Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Oil, Panel

Composition in Blue
By Hans Hofmann
Located in New York, NY
Hans Hofmann Composition in Blue, 1952 Color silkscreen with unique hand painted gouache additions Hand signed and numbered on the front in ink Published by Esther Gentle and 167 Gal...
Category

Mid-20th Century Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Ink, Gouache, Screen

Kootz Gallery, abstraction
By Hans Hofmann
Located in New York, NY
A vibrant, Miro like work celebrating his exhibition at the famous Kootz gallery. This piece serves as historical work and and artistic expression of joie de vivre! In 1947 Hans Ho...
Category

1940s Abstract Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Oil, Archival Paper

Provincetown Drawing - Pen & Ink - 1942 - Massachusetts
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Title: "Provincetown Drawing" Medium: pen and ink on paper Dimensions: 14 x 16 3/4 inches Signed: Initialed and dated 1942 Provenance: Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, Californi...
Category

1940s Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Paper, Ink, Pen

Figure and Female Nude
By Hans Hofmann
Located in New York, NY
Figure and Female Nude, ca. 1925, by Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) Pencil on paper 17 x 14 inches unframed (43.18 x 35.56 cm) Description: This figurative drawing by German-American arti...
Category

Early 20th Century Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Paper, Pencil

Crucifixion
By Hans Hofmann
Located in New York, NY
Crucifixion, ca. 1925, by Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) Pencil on paper 17 x 14 inches unframed (43.18 x 35.56 cm) Description: This figure drawing by Hans Hofmann provides a unique look...
Category

Early 20th Century Post-Modern Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Pencil

Yellow Vase
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A painting by Hans Hofmann. "Yellow Vase" is still-life abstract painting, oil on panel executed in the primary colors by Post-War Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann. Hofmann is one...
Category

Mid-20th Century Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Oil, Panel

Setting Sun
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Palm Desert, CA
"Setting Sun" is an oil painting by Hans Hofmann. The painting is signed lower right, "57 Hans Hofmann" and signed verso "Hans Hofmann". The framed piece measures 62 1/2 x 50 1/2 x 2...
Category

1950s Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Canvas, Oil

The Climb
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Palm Desert, CA
"The Climb" is a painting by Hans Hofmann. The painting is signed lower right, "Hans Hofmann 60" and inscribed verso, "Cat. #1463 the climb 84 x 48 1960 hans hofmann". The framed pie...
Category

1960s Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Oil, Panel

Untitled
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Greenwich, CT
Abstract gouache on paper
Category

1940s Abstract Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Paper, Gouache

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Previously Available Items
Hans Hofmann Untitled
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
Provenance: Ameringer and Yohe Gallery Private Collection, CA
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1960s Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

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Paper, Oil, Gouache

Abyss
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Greenville, DE
ATTRIBUTED to Hans Hofmann. Initialed "HH" lower right. Oil on Masonite, Ca 1959. Forty - Seventh Street Gallery, 25 W. 47th St. New York label on reverse.
Category

Mid-20th Century Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Masonite, Oil

  • Abyss
  • Abyss
  • Abyss
  • Abyss
H 24 in. W 20 in.
Original Oil on Paper Titled Upward Abstract Signed Hans Hofmann 1946
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Keego Harbor, MI
For your consideration is an original, framed, oil on paper painting, entitled "Upward," signed by Hans Hofmann, 1946. This piece done in typical Hofman abstract expressionist urban ...
Category

1940s Abstract Hans Hofmann Art

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Oil

Composition in Blue
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Saint Augustine, FL
An original signed screenprint with extensive hand-painted gouache additions on wove paper by German-American artist Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) titled "Composition in Blue", 1952. Hand...
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1950s Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Gouache, Screen

Landscape
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Winterswijk, NL
Color offset lithograph "Landscape" by Hans Hofmann, monogrammed in print.
Category

20th Century Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann Art

Materials

Offset

  • Landscape
  • Landscape
  • Landscape
  • Landscape
H 10.04 in. W 13.98 in.
The Chair
By Hans Hofmann
Located in Palm Desert, CA
An abstract painting by Hans Hofmann. "The Chair" is an oil on panel, abstract painting executed in bright yellows, lime green, blues, violets and oranges by Post War artist Hans Hof...
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1940s Post-War Hans Hofmann Art

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Oil, Panel

  • The Chair
  • The Chair
  • The Chair
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H 13.5 in. W 11.75 in.
Composition with Ruler
By Hans Hofmann
Located in New York, NY
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Hans Hofmann art for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a wide variety of authentic Hans Hofmann art for sale. You can also browse by medium to find art by Hans Hofmann in paint, paper, gouache and more. Much of this artist's original work was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior allows for large Hans Hofmann art, so small editions measuring 7.5 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the works of Bill Jensen, Lena Cher and Angelo Ippolito. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $4,500 and tops out at $105,000, while the average work can sell for $28,000.

Artists Similar to Hans Hofmann

Questions About Hans Hofmann Art
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Hans Hoffman was a German-born American painter who was very influential to the Abstract Expressionism movement. He was very active in the European avant-garde and enjoyed experimenting with some of the newer techniques of the era. Hoffman went on to establish a school of art, which is considered the first modern school of art anywhere. His teachings are very well known and highly regarded. On 1stDibs, find a variety of original artwork from top artists worldwide.

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