The Golden Wall
Issue Date: March 11, 2010
City: Buffalo, NY
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine Die Cut
Hans Hofmann – The Golden Wall
To Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), “the whole world... comes to us through the mystic realm of color.” In his six-decade career as a painter and teacher, Hofmann created his own style and guided a generation of artists into the modern art movement.
Raised in Bavaria, Germany, Hofmann patented several inventions before moving to Paris at age 18 to study art. In his 10 years there, he studied under and befriended such influential artists as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Georges Braque. Other influences included Fauvist artists such as Henri Evenepoel.
After leaving Paris, Hofmann opened his own schools in Munich, Germany, and New York City, teaching for over 40 years. He was renowned for his connections to modern European artists, and his theories on color, space, and nature. Writer Clement Greenberg praised him as “the most important art teacher” of his time.
At 78, Hofmann retired from teaching to focus on his painting. It was at this time in his life when he created some of his greatest works and gained fame as the teacher of many Abstract Expressionists. In 1961, he created The Golden Wall in oil paint, exploring his theory of “push-pull,” in which the cool blue areas of the canvas pull forward while the warm red pushes backward. Contradicting traditional color theories helped make Hofmann one of the leading artists of the period.