Hans Hofmann: The California Exhibitions, 1931

Leubsdorf Gallery
132 East 68th Street
New York, NY

February 28 – May 5

At the invitation of the artist and educator Worth Ryder, Hans Hofmann traveled from Munich to teach at the University of California at Berkeley in 1930 and again in 1931. In the summer of 1931, Hofmann mounted his first exhibitions in the United States, in San Francisco at the Palace of the Legion of Honor and across the bay at Berkeley’s Havilland Hall.  Ryder helped to organize the exhibitions, and he apologized in his short catalogue text for the Legion of Honor that the exhibition included only drawings rather than the artist’s paintings—“but,” he insisted, “in these drawings, so small in size yet so vast in scope, the greatest achievements of modern art are in solution.”

Hunter College’s exhibition, Hans Hofmann: The California Exhibitions, 1931 revisits Hofmann’s 1931 exhibitions and the drawings Hofmann showed, to show what Ryder saw as the solutions of modern art. Included in the Hunter installation will be some thirty works, all of which were included in the San Francisco and Berkeley shows, drawn from the holdings from the Renate, Hans, and Maria Hofmann Trust: portraits, figure studies, and landscapes, most completed in Europe in the late 1920s, alongside his students in Saint-Tropez, others realized on the West Coast, as he discovered the California landscape.

Hans Hofmann: The California Exhibitions, 1931 is organized by Hunter College MA students and Hofmann Research Fellows Mindy Friedman, Chika Jenkins, and Anna Tome, with Howard Singerman, professor and Phyllis and Joseph Caroff Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Hunter College.  It is supported by a generous grant from the Renate, Hans, and Maria Hofmann Trust.

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