Speaking Through Paint: Hans Hofmann’s Legacy Today

February 13 – March 15, 2014

Press Release

“A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.” – Henry Brook Adams [i]

Lori Bookstein Fine Art is pleased to announce, Speaking Through Paint: Hans Hofmann’s Legacy Today, [ii] an exhibition curated by Stacey Gershon and Deborah Goodman Davis. This exhibition will bring together a group of contemporary artists working across a range of media whose work is influenced, directly or indirectly, by Hans Hofmann.

Hans Hofmann is widely considered to be the most important art teacher of the postwar generation. From his arrival in the United States to teach at UC Berkeley, until his death in 1966, he continually proved to be a major influence on some of the most significant and varied artists of the latter half of the twentieth century. His most notable students include the painters Helen Frankenthaler and Lee Krasner, the sculptor Louise Nevelson, and the performance artist Allan Kaprow.

Hofmann’s work spanned five decades and two continents, bridging European modernism with American abstraction. Never content with the status quo, he experimented ceaselessly throughout his life. Hofmann embraced the flatness of the canvas and achieved spatial structure through exploration of vibrant colors and the relationships between them. His dynamic gestural compositions, though abstract, were always rooted in nature and the world around him and created a spiritual connection to the materials of painting.

This exhibition will re-explore Hofmann’s legacy by positioning his work with contemporary abstract art. The works in this show will explore various themes central to Hofmann and abstraction, such as color, emotion, gesture, nature, plasticity, and the slab. Indeed, the enduring importance of Hofmann’s teachings and his art is apparent in his indirect influence on artists of the 21th century.

The show will juxtapose paintings and drawings by Hans Hofmann with recent abstract art in various media including paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, photography and video. Some of the artists to be included are Stephen Antonakos, Kristen Baker, Cecily Brown, Jessica Eaton, Katharina Grosse, Peter Halley, Mary Heilmann, Marine Hugonnier, Owen Kydd, Sophy Naess, Elizabeth Neel, Jon Rafman, David Reed, Brie Ruais, Cordy Ryman, Erik Saxon, Arlene Shechet, Amy Sillman, Josh Smith, Artie Vierkant, Stanley Whitney, Helen Miranda Wilson, and Betty Woodman.

Deborah Goodman Davis and Stacey Gershon are independent curators and art advisors based in New York.

Speaking Through Paint: Hans Hofmann’s Legacy Today will be on view from February 13 – March 15, 2014. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 13th from 6-8 pm. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 am to 6:00 pm. For additional information and/or visual materials, please contact Joseph Bunge at (212) 750-0949 or by email at joseph@loribooksteinfineart.com.

[i] Henry Brook Adams, The Education of Henry Adams (1907), Chapter 20.

[ii] The title for this exhibition is derived from the following quote by Hans Hofmann: “Painters must speak through paint, not words.” Hans Hofmann as quoted in It Is, No. 3, Winter/Spring 1959.