Hofmann, Hans

Hofmann, Hans

biographical name


Hans Hofmann, photograph by Arnold Newman, 1960.—© Arnold Newman

(born March 21, 1880, Weissenberg, Ger.—died Feb. 17, 1966, New York, N.Y., U.S.) German-born U.S. painter and art teacher. From 1898 he studied art in Munich, and in 1904 he moved to Paris, where he was inspired by the work of Henri Matisse and Robert Delaunay. In 1915 he opened his first school of painting in Munich. He moved to the U.S. in 1930 and taught at New York's Art Students League. In 1933 he opened the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art, where he would exert strong influence on young abstract painters of the 1930s and '40s, including Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollock. His style evolved into total abstraction, and he pioneered the paint-dripping technique later associated with Pollock. He closed the school in 1958 to devote the rest of his life to his painting. He was one of the most influential art teachers of the 20th century and a significant figure in the development of Abstract Expressionism.

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