Hans Hofmann was an acclaimed Abstract Expressionist artist and teacher. Praised as the most important art teacher of the 20th century by seminal art historian and critic Clement Greenberg, Hofmann bridged the gap between the School of Paris, led by titans and particular role models Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Robert Delaunay and Henri Matisse; and the nascent group of abstract painters in Post-War New York.
Many of these artists, such as Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock and Frank Stella, were students of Hofmann and his influence can be seen in their significant and varied bodies of work. His style synthesized elements of Fauvism, Cubism and Expressionism, while incorporating his own innovative abstract theory which relied on the “push and pull” of interacting colors and form.
Hofmann is represented in the forthcoming Modern & Contemporary Art sale at Freemans on Nov. 7. “The Male” was painted in 1950, a pivotal and highly productive year for the 70 year old painter. It is widely considered the apex of his artistic career, when he fully refined his now signature aesthetic.
Comprised of dynamic brushstrokes, a wide color palette and varying textures, this painting is characteristic of Hofmann’s artistic output during this period. “The Male” belonged to the Estate of the Artist until 1974 when it was acquired by the legendary André Emmerich Gallery and then by the Harcus Krakow Gallery in Boston later that year. It has remained with the same private collection ever since.