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Hans Hofmann: Magnum Opus

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David Evison reviews the recent exhibition Hans Hofmann: Magnum Opus at the Museum Pfalzgalerie. Kaiserlautern. A video (in English and German featuring Karen Wilkin and William Agee) about the show is available here.

Evison writes: "From the evidence of this exhibition, Hofmann does not make a sudden breakthrough but gets to the top gradually. The group of paintings made at the war’s end, the example being Figures in Ferment, 1945 from the Reinhold Würth collection, are superb. But MOMA’s Flowering Desert, 1953 is special. It has every colour of the rainbow, all manners of paint application, light and dark contrast, even black and white; a recipe for disaster. But he is disciplined and has developed theories for himself and as pedagogy. From this strong conceptual base he has the scaffolding (Struktur) and can let go, and he lets rip when confronted with the canvas and with his materials. It is a little masterpiece as perfect as Gericault’s small Cavalry Skirmish in the Wallace collection."

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