Holocaust

Holocaust, 1953

oil and enamel on panel
H.63.5 X W.76.2cm

Hans Hofmann (1880-1966)
German born American

A painter, theorist and teacher, Hofmann’s later works contain no recognizable imagery.

Instead, meaning comes from the title and the viewer’s ability to combine its significance with the colour, space and form of the piece. Hofmann accepted a temporary teaching position in the United States in 1933, but ended up staying permanently because of his concern regarding the Hitler government.

During his long career in the United States he doubtless imbued American art with modernism. In this piece, instead of his normally serene use of colour and form, Hofmann combines violent reds and blacks and a chaotic pattern in order to express his anger against the Nazis. Now the viewer’s ability to interpret the piece comes through the title, as opposed to concrete images.

 



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