Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)

I was interested to see how Hans Hofmann influenced Lee Krasner, when I saw the exhibition of her work in the Barbican recently.  I am curious to know more about Hofmann

Here is a statement of his approach when he opened his first school of art  in Munich (2015).  It explains the relationship between the artist’s inner nature and the need for or experience of study.

“Art does not consist in the objectivized imitation of reality.  Without the creative impulse of the artist, even the most perfect imitation of reality is a lifeless form, a photograph, a panopticon.  It is true that, in the artistic sense, form receives its impulse from nature, but it is nevertheless not bound to objective reality; rather, it depends to a much greater extent on the artistic experience, evoked by objective reality and the artist’s command of the spiritual means of the fine arts, through which this artistic experience is transformed by him into reality in painting.  Creative expression is thus the spiritual translation of inner concepts into form, resulting from the fusion of these intuitions with artistic means of expression in  a unity of spirit and form, brought about by intuition, which in turn results from the functioning of the entire thought and feeling c omplex accompanied by vigorous control of the spiritual means.  Imitation of objective reality is therefore not creation but dilettantism, or else a purely intellectual performance, scientific and sterile.   A work of art is, in spirit and in form, a self-contained whole, whose spiritual and structural relationships permit no individual parts, despite the multiplicity of depicted objects.  Every independent element works against the spiritual context, and makes for patchwork, reducing the total spiritual value.  The artist must therefore learn the spiritual media of the fine arts, which constitute its form and fundamentals.  The artist must create his particular view of nature, i.e. his own experience, be it from nature or independent of it.  Through these realizations the assignments of the scholastic years will be clearly understood, ensuring the further development of the artist, who must then detach himself entirely from schools and directions and evolve a personality of his own”

P 9 Hans Hofman  by Helmut Friedel and Tina Dickey   Hudson Hills Press New York (1997)