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Hans Hofmann

March 21, 1880 - February 17, 1966


Hans Hofmann was born in Germany and became an influential American painter and teacher. He is considered a pioneer in Abstract Expressionism, and greatly influenced other artists who painted in this style.

From 1900 to 1930 Hofmann traveled between Munich and Paris– learning, painting, and developing his vibrant style. His art at that time was considered avant-garde, and expanded upon Neo-impressionism, Cubism, Fauvism, and Symbolism. In 1915 Hofmann opened an art school in Munich based on Cézanne, Kandinsky, and Cubist ideas and techniques. Hofmann interacted with artists like Matisse, Picasso, and many others.

By the 1930s Hofmann moved to the United States, lived in New York and Provincetown, and reopened his art school in both places, he taught until he retired in 1958 so that he could paint full-time. Hofmann had his first solo exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim\’s influential Art of This Century gallery, in New York in 1944, he was 64. He would have major retrospectives at the Whitney and MoMA.

A short list of the many artists whom he influenced includes Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler, Larry Rivers, Joan Mitchell, and Louise Nevelson.

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