Elysium II

Elysium II by Hans Hofmann

“The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.”

–Hans Hofmann

The dean of abstract expressionism, as a critic referred him to during the 1960 Venice Biennale, Hans Hofmann defied categorization by working across different painterly techniques. Close to the fauves in his use of color, he became influential as a painter and teacher for his “Push and Pull” concept of interdependent relationships between form, color, and space to create depth and movement on a flat surface. In Elysium II, Hofmann’s commitment to the two-dimensionality of the canvas is evident as certain shapes recede and others jump out at the viewer without the use of shading or perspective. Part of his rectangle paintings, Hans Hoffmann embraces a grid-based structure for his wild and discordant colors to create a space viewers can enter.

Image: Elysium II, 1963, Hans Hofmann, American, (Born in Germany), 1880–1966, oil on canvas, 60 x 52 in., Gift of the Virginia and Bagley Wright Collection, in honor of the 75th Anniversary of the Seattle Art Museum, 2014.25.31.