Hans Hofmann (b. 1880 Weissenburg, Germany – d. 1966, New York, NY) began his art education in Munich before moving to Paris in 1904. While in Paris, Hofmann frequented the Café du Dome where he met the many artists, dealers, and intellectuals who gathered there. It was during this time that Hofmann took drawing classes at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, and was introduced to Matisse, Picasso, and Braque. While on a visit home to Germany in 1914, the outbreak of World War I prevented Hofmann from returning to Paris, so in 1915 he opened his own art school in Munich, which quickly garnered an international reputation of excellence. In 1930, Hofmann traveled to the United States, and from 1930 to 1932 he was invited to teach at the University of California, Berkeley, and at the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles.
Hofmann moved to New York in 1932. He taught a drawing class at the Art Students League and in 1934 he opened the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in New York. In 1935, Hofmann’s School additionally began to hold summer sessions in Provincetown, MA. Hofmann became well known not only as an important artist of the time but also as an admired teacher. Some of his distinguished students include Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Louise Nevelson, Joan Mitchell, Wolf Kahn, Paul Resika and Jan Müller.
Most recently, a comprehensive survey of Hofmann’s practice entitled, Hans Hofmann: The Nature of Abstraction, was mounted by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, CA, (February 25 - July 21, 2019) and traveled to the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA (September 27 2019 – January 6 2020). During his lifetime, Hofmann’s work was the subject of exhibitions at the Art of This Century Gallery, New York, NY (1944); the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts (1948); Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (1957); the XXX Venice Biennale (1960); and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (1963).
Hofmann’s work is in myriad institutional collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Tate Modern, London; and Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, among others.