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Towering Spaciousness

Hans Hofmann

Contemporary Art

Bavarian-born Hans Hofmann settled in New York in the late 1930s. During the 1940s he became a devoted and influential teacher, especially of the first and second generations of Abstract Expressionists. In Towering Spaciousness, the artist combines strictly defined geometric forms with thickly applied, gestural areas of orange, blue, yellow, pink, and green. Blocks of color are built into towering spatial intervals. Indeed this painting well represents the artist's "push-and-pull" theory. In considering the spatial relations he created on the picture plane, Hofmann wrote in 1948: "Push and pull are expanding and contracting forces which are activated by carriers in visual motion. Planes are the most important carriers, lines and point less so."
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
DATES 1956
DIMENSIONS 84 1/4 x 50 in. (214 x 127 cm) frame: 89 × 55 × 4 3/4 in. (226.1 × 139.7 × 12.1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed lower right: "56/hans hofmann"
INSCRIPTIONS Signed on the reverse by artist in black paint, "Towering/Spaciousness/ 84-60, 1956/ hans hofmann" On the reverse top cross bar label, "KOOTZ GALLERY, NEW YORK" Another label on the stretcher, "The 7 Santini Brothers, NYC, NY 38"
COLLECTIONS Contemporary Art
CREDIT LINE Gift of William Sachs
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION Hans Hofmann (American, 1880–1966). Towering Spaciousness, 1956. Oil on canvas, 84 1/4 x 50 in. (214 x 127 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of William Sachs, 68.51. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 68.51_recto_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE recto, 68.51_recto_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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