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Posts Tagged ‘Hans Hofmann’

Untitled (Abstract), ca. 1950s. Lillian Orlowsky (1914–2007). Oil on canvas, 32 x 25 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of The Lillian Orlowsky and William Freed Foundation (2010.100)

While the idea that originality can be taught is somewhat oxymoronic, there is no denying that some of the most ground-breaking artists in history were students, at one time or another, influenced by the teachings of masters and their work. Provincetown artists were no exception, and if you had to trace the roots of Provincetown’s reputation as a leading center of innovative art, the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Art would be the first place to look. It was the pedagogy of the school’s founder, famed Modernist and Abstract Expressionist Hans Hofmann (1880-1966), that inspired generations of artists to obliterate the grasp of tradition and Academic convention, each in his or her own way. Opened in 1935, the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts marked a new tide in both the art colony and American art history.

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Nude Study, 1938. Lee Krasner (1908-1984). Charcoal on paper, 25 x 18 7/8 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Friends Purchase Fund, 1985.09.

Lee Krasner, a progressive female artist working hard throughout the Great Depression of the 1930s until the mid 1980s, has become known in larger circles as the wife of Jackson Pollock. Both artists worked for the government as part of the Works of Art Project’s (WPA) Federal Art Project (FAP) which was formulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt during his four terms as US president, up until World War II. While Pollock may be a household name, Krasner is a celebrated artist in her own right. She was academically trained in drawing, painting, and other media. Yet it was the influence ofHans Hofmann that facilitated her Cubist-style detachments of forms in Nude Study. It was acquired by NBMAA in 1985, a year after her death. (more…)

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