press release

Though he is considered the father of Abstract Expressionism, Hans Hofmann (American, born German, 1880–1966) gained an illustrious reputation as a teacher that long eclipsed his renown as a painter. In 1958, after 40 years of teaching, Hofmann closed his art schools in New York City and Provincetown, Mass., in order to concentrate on his own work. This selection of 24 paintings takes this prolific late period as its focus and highlights the artist’s famous theory of “push and pull”—an optical effect of expansion and contraction achieved through color juxtapositions and the spatial organization of the composition. The exhibition is drawn from the collection of the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, which holds the largest public collection of Hofmann’s work.

The exhibition includes the documentary film, Hans Hofmann: Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist, (2002), narrated by actor Robert De Niro, whose artist-parents studied with Hofmann.


Hans Hofmann
The UC Berkeley Art Museum Collection
Anna K. Meredith Gallery