The works of what is perhaps one of the most famous artist in action painting comes to the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) this Wednesday.
Titled Hoffman by Hoffman, this exhibition features works by Hans Hoffman (1880-1966), and focuses on the first paintings personally selected by the artist for BAMPFA (then known as the University Art Museum). The works shows Hoffman’s history with UC Berkeley. He once taught at the university, thus initialing what he would identify as his “start in America as a teacher and artist”. Hoffman would also gave the university over fifty paintings, all of which represent the highest artistic achievement of his career, as well as a pledge of $250,000 to support UC Berkeley’s then-burgeoning art museum. Today, his works at BAMPFA stands as one of the world’s most extensive museum collection.
Among the works expected to be featured in Hoffman by Hoffman, include 1943’s Fantasia, which is considered to be one of earliest works, to bridge Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism, and anticipate the compositional logic and spatial dynamics of his signature color plane works of the 1950’s and 1960’s, like 1960’s Summer Bliss (which Hoffman offered in honor of a professor who died the same year the painting was completed). Also expected to be featured in this exhibition, are later canvases of contrasting colors and arrangements of shapes, including the works Nocturnal Splendor and Gloriamundi (both 1963).
Hoffman by Hoffman is on view until December 21st.