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HOFMANN, Hans (1880-1966)

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HOFMANN, Hans (1880-1966), German-American painter and teacher, often called the dean of abstract expressionism. Born in Weissenberg, Bavaria, he studied painting in Munich and Paris, and was influenced by the Fauvist and cubist movements and by German expressionism. In 1915 Hofmann opened a school of modern art in Munich. He immigrated (1932) to the U.S. and opened (1933) a school in New York City. After 1940 his own style, in which cubist planes are heightened by brilliant Fauve color, as in Fantasia in Blue(1954, Whitney Museum, New York City), began to approach gestural painting. Over the years, many abstract expressionist painters attended his lectures and absorbed his principles of non-representational art. In 1958 Hofmann gave up teaching to devote himself to painting, for which he eventually achieved international recognition.

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