On Hans Hofmann & Nicolas de Staël

Dana Gordon links the evolution of Hans Hofmann’s abstract expressionist paintings of the 1950s to the influence of Nicolas de Staël, whose work was prominent and popular in New York galleries at that time.

Gordon asserts: “Both Hofmann and de Staël championed the life of abstract forms, the communicative presence of the material of paint, and comprehensive expression from color. De Staël’s fame and breakthrough use of painterly blocks, which asserted themselves as material color abstraction, very likely influenced Hofmann to make his slabs just a few years later. It’s not hard to think that Hofmann was impressed by de Staël’s invention. The tactile blocks of color in de Staël in the early to mid-1950s find a correspondence in Hofmann’s work from 1959 onwards.”