Push and Pull: Hans Hofmann brings together signature paintings from BAMPFA’s distinguished collection of the artist’s work, such as Combinable Wall, I and II (1961) and Magnum Opus (1962). In 1963, at the height of his internationally acclaimed career, the artist donated nearly fifty paintings to UC Berkeley in recognition of the University’s important role in his early career. He first came to America from Germany in 1930 to teach in UC Berkeley’s Department of Art, at the invitation of Worth Ryder. From Berkeley, Hofmann went on to New York, where his established his famed and influential art schools. By the late 1940s Hofmann was also recognized as a progressive, avant-garde painter and one of the originators of Abstract Expressionism. In 1958, at the age of seventy-eight, Hofmann closed his schools and returned to his studio full-time, for the first time in over forty years. In this last decade of his life, he produced an astounding body of energetic, masterful paintings. “My aim,” he stated in 1962, “is to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light, in accordance with my deepest insight into the experience of life and nature.
August 31 - December 11, 2016