Drawn from the Berkeley Art Museum’s extensive collection of works by the influential painter and teacher Hans Hofmann (1880–1966), Nature into Action is inspired by an article by the prominent art critic Harold Rosenberg, written on the occasion of Hofmann’s retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1957. “No American artist,” Rosenberg wrote, “can mount a show of greater coherent variety than Hans Hofmann. Fed by his tireless consciousness, constantly growing more concrete and inwardly responsive, his originality suggests no limits.” Rosenberg identified the importance of nature as an enduring source in Hofmann’s work, importantly leading to automatism—noting that Hofmann was one of the first American painters to practice this method—and on to action as the method of his creation.
The year after Rosenberg’s article was published, Hofmann would close his famed schools, after four decades of teaching in Europe and the United States, to devote himself full-time to his own studio practice. His artistic production and experimentation, which had been prodigious throughout his years of teaching, blossomed in full from the later 1950s until his death in 1966.
Berkeley Art Museum 03.02.2010 - 29.08.2010
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