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The Painter

Hans Hoffman painting on the beach. Image: hanshoffman.net

The Painter (to himself)

Every point counts –
every thickness and thinness counts
every direction – every brushstroke
counts –
and so do the most differentiated color shades –
They do not count for themselve
their velocity and power is manifested
in the magic relation unto them –
Make the picture furrowed like earth
and brilliant like sun
make it pearl and diamond laden
with colour in every shade
make it hard and weighty like rock –
but dewey like fruit and
pulsating as blood does in
a loving heart
and fill it with life and laughs and
that it may be felt how you have
felt it
as the maker of a new world.

-Hans Hoffman, 1955

Hans Hofmann, Goliath, 1960. Image: hanshoffman.net

Hofmann’s famous push pull theory, a culmination of many of his ideas, describes the plasticity of three-dimensionality translated to two-dimensionality. Shapes, colors, lines, calligraphic squiggles, and use of space always echo the reality found in nature, but its structure rather than its appearance. In his search for the real (as he titled his book, “The Search for the Real and Other Essays” [1948]) Hofmann produced a new type of landscape, one that is composed, not of trees and land, but of the tension between its space, form, color and planes.

For more on Hoffman, please click HERE.

There’s an exhibition of his work at Ameringer Yohe in New York, from April 10 – 23 May, 2008.

Coming up on VoCA: More from New York! Marcel Dzama at David Zwirner and Cai Guo Qiang at the Guggenheim!

One Response to “The Painter”

  1. Paul says:

    Thanks for posting about Hoffman, the documentary on him narrated by Robert De Niro is terrific, I believe I saw it on TVO or PBS a while back

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