Hans Hofmann

(1880 - 1966)
Hans Hofmann Green Paradise 1960


Raised and educated in Munich, Hofmann then moved to Paris in 1904 and remained there until 1914. Returning to Munich, Hofmann opened a school to support himself during the War as he had been declared unfit for service. He established himself as an influential teacher and went on to teach in California, before settling in New York in 1932 and opening a school the following year. In 1958 he abandoned teaching and dedicated himself to his own work. His colourful, abstract canvases explore the relationship between the surface plane and gestural paint work,and he soon became one of the most important figures of Abstract Expressionism. He represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1960.

Glossary terms

  • Art in which there is no attempt to represent anything existing in the world, particularly used of the 20th century onwards. ‘Abstraction’ refers to the process of making images that may in part derive from the visible world but which are reduced to basic formal elements.