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Philbrook Museum of Art Opens Hans Hofmann: Circa 1950
Installation view Hans Hofmann: 1950.
TULSA, OK.- Hans Hofmann created an extraordinary body of work for the architect Josep Sert’s 1950 Peruvian city plan called the Chimbote Project. The nine painting studies Hofmann produced for the series of murals in this Peruvian city form a concise and inspired example of the depth of Hofmann’s strengths as an abstract painter and modernist visionary, and form the core of this exhibition, along with other major works from this important year in Hofmann’s career.

1950 was a singularly important year for Hans Hofmann. Not only did this period mark his full maturity as a painter – he produced more than fifty pieces that year – it was also one of his most productive periods as a writer. In the post-war years, the artist wrote a significant amount, revealing the intricacies of his intellectual concerns and his creative processes. One of his most important and influential writings, a collection of essays titled Search for the Real, was published two years prior in 1948. These writings, both formal and abstract in presentation, present Hofmann’s philosophy and set the stage for the burst of creative energy that was to come.

Hofmann turned 70 in 1950, many years past what is often considered an artist’s “prime”. But like Picasso, who was also doing compelling work in his seventies and beyond, Hofmann proved that an artist is capable of producing relevant and provocative work well into the later part of life.

While long recognized as an important painter, Hofmann has often been heralded more for his influence as a teacher than as an artist. His schools in New York City and Provincetown, Massachusetts are legendary. Students included the likes of Lee Krasner, Larry Rivers and Ray Eames to name just a few.

The exhibition will include the full suite of Chimbote paintings along with other important works from 1950 is courtesy of the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust and is accompanied by a full color catalogue.


Philbrook Museum of Art | Hans Hofmann | Chimbote Project |


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