Collection

Hans Hofmann
American b. Germany, 1880-1966

Au printemps, 1955
Oil on canvas
Gift from the collection of Katherine Sanford Deutsch, class of 1940
1994.9.3
Period: 20th c
Classification: Painting
Dimensions: Framed: 50 5/8 x 38 5/8 x 3 in. (128.59 x 98.11 x 7.62 cm) Unframed: 48 x 36 in. (121.92 x 91.44 cm)
Signatures, Inscriptions and Markings v
Signed and dated (LR): Hans Hofmann, 55
Exhibition History v
Japan, Shimane Art Museum, "Paris--New York; Modern Paintings in 19th and 20th Century Master Works from the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York," March 7 - May 11, 2008. Cat. no. 44, p 98. Japan, Ishibashi Museum of Art, "Paris--New York; Modern Paintings in 19th and 20th Century Master Works from the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York," May 17 - July 20, 2008. Cat. no. , p . Japan, Yamagata Museum of Art, "Paris--New York; Modern Paintings in 19th and 20th Century Master Works from the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York," July 30 - August 31, 2008. Cat. no. , p. . Japan. Fuchu Art Museum, "Paris--New York; Modern Paintings in 19th and 20th Century Master Works from the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York," September 6 - November 3, 2008. Cat. no. , p. . Japan, Miyazaki Prefectural Art Museum, "Paris--New York; Modern Paintings in 19th and 20th Century Master Works from the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York," November 14 - December 14, 2008. Cat. , p. . Poughkeepsie, New York, The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College, "Pictures of Nothing: Abstract Art from the Permanent Collection," July 12 - September 8, 2013.
Description v
Although the United States claims Hans Hofmann as its own, this distinc- tion is not based solely on the amount of his life that he spent here but on his tremendous impact as a teacher during the advent of the Abstract Expres- sionist movement in America. Born in a small Bavarian village, he moved with his family to Munich at the age of six. He received his early art training there, and with financial backing from a patron moved to Paris when he was twenty-four. There he became familiar with the leading lights of contempor- ary art including Picasso, Matisse, and Robert Delaunay, who arguably had the greatest influence on the young artist. By the time the First World War broke out he was back in Germany, where he opened his first school of art in 1915. After the end of the war, the school became a magnet for an inter- national clientele, including American artists such as Louise Nevelson and Alfred Jensen. His American contacts led to invitations to teach in Berkeley, California, as early as 1930, and he decided to leave Germany permanently in 1933, establishing a school in New York City with a successful summer program in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Two years before his first major retrospective at the Whitney Museum in New York, Hofmann painted Au Printemps, a paean to joy found in the natural world. Lighter in touch and palette than many of his large paintings, it uses the white of the primed can- vas to suggest a meadow where wildflowers lightly grace its surface and shimmer in the crisp light of a spring day.
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