Hans Hofmann

Pompeii

1959

Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 2140 x 1327 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1981
Reference
T03256

Display caption

Hofmann was born in Bavaria and trained in Munich and Paris. In 1930 he emigrated to America and eventually settled in New York. In 1934 he opened an art school there which he maintained until 1958. Hofmann was a highly respected teacher. The degree of contact he had with European artists was rare among contemporary Americans. Hofmann's own art flowered after he closed down his school. His late paintings are characterised by the juxtaposition of strongly coloured rectangles. These created the feeling of space because the human eye sees different colours as being at different distances from it. Hofmann termed this effect 'push and pull'. The paintings were often worked out by pinning rectangles of coloured paper to the canvas.

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

T03256 POMPEII 1959

Inscribed ‘hans hofmann/59’ bottom right and ‘cat #947/59/Pompey [sic]/oil on canvas/84 × 52 1959’ on back of canvas
Oil on canvas, 84 3/4 × 52 15/16 (214 × 132.4)
Purchased from the artist's estate through the André Emmerich Gallery (Grant-in-Aid) 1981
Exh: XXX Venice Biennale, June–October 1960 (United States 22); Hans Hofmann, Fränkische Galerie am Marientor, Nuremberg, March–April 1962 (69); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, May–June 1962 (69); Städtische Galerie, Munich, December 1962–January 1963 (69); Hans Hofmann, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, January–February 1964 (not in catalogue); Isaac Delgado Museum of Art, New Orleans, February–March 1964 (not in catalogue); Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, March–April 1964 (not in catalogue); University of California, Berkeley, May–June 1964 (not in catalogue); Washington Gallery of Modern Art, Washington, D.C., June–July 1964 (not in catalogue); Museo de Arte Moderno de Buenos Aires, September 1964 (no catalogue); Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, November–December 1964 (15); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, January–March 1965 (14, repr.); Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna, Turin, March–April 1965 (15, repr.); Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, May–June 1965 (14, repr.); Amerika-Haus (Kunstverein), Hamburg, June–July 1965 (14, repr.); Städtisches Kunsthaus, Bielefeld, September–October 1965 (14, repr.); Hans Hofmann 1880–1966, André Emmerich Gallery, New York, December 1980–January 1981 (works not numbered, repr.in colour)
Repr: Das Kunstwerk, XIII, July–August 1960, p.44; Clement Greenberg, Hofmann, Paris 1961, p.29 in colour; The Tate Gallery: Illustrated Biennial Report 1980–82, 1983, p.49 in colour

[no further details]

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1980-82: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1984

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