(German, 1880–1966) was a renowned painter and famous teacher of many prominent American artists. Hoffman was born in Bavaria, and studied science and engineering before fully devoting himself to art. He attended art school in Munich in 1898, studying Pointillism and Impressionist painting, and then moved to Paris, where he lived for the next 10 years. In Paris, Hofmann befriended Pablo Picasso
(Spanish, 1881–1973), Henri Matisse
(French, 1869–1954), Georges Braque
(French, 1882–1963), and Robert Delaunay
(French, 1885–1941), developing a distinctive style of Cubist painting he called Orphism. Hofmann stayed in Munich during World War I, as he was prohibited from living in Paris as a German citizen. He opened the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts during the war years, instructing artists including Louise Nevelson
(American, 1899–1988) and Alfred Jensen
(American, 1903–1981). Hofmann later taught courses at the University of California-Berkeley during the 1930s, and then opened a second Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts in New York, as well as summer sessions of classes in Provincetown, Massachusetts. As the Nazi regime in Germany grew increasingly oppressive throughout the 1930s, Hofmann was advised not to return to Europe, and he instead divided his time between the coasts of the United States. Inspired by the American landscape, he resumed painting. Hofmann instructed his students in color theory, composition, and drawing inspiration from the natural world, and became renowned for his enthusiastic, attentive teaching methods. By the 1940s and 1950s, he was as well known for his painting as for his teaching, and gained recognition as a leading member of the Abstract Expressionist movement; in 1960 Hofmann’s paintings were exhibited at the Venice Biennale. His work has been the subject of several retrospectives, including exhibitions held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. He died in 1966, at 78 years old.