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'Nulli Secundus', Latin for second to none, is a painting of Hofmann's late period. Hofmann emigrated to the U.S.A from Germany in 1930 and in 1934 set up an art school in New York. He was a widely influential teacher. However, it was only after he closed his school in 1958 that his painting blossomed. Hofmann tended to work out the compositions of his paintings by pinning coloured paper shapes to his canvas. His work is a synthesis of Cubism, Fauvism and geometric abstraction. He regularly evoked nature but was keen to respect the inherent differences between pictorial experiences and those of the natural world. He wrote: 'In nature, light creates color: in the picture, color creates light.'

September 2004