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schools Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts

Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts


The Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts was first and foremost a place for young artists to learn and master the practice of working in the studio. It was not for undeveloped artists to attend, but rather an environment for educated and seasoned young artists to patiently and methodically learn the history of a particular artistic media, hone their technical skills, and temporarily escape the busy streets of New York City. As a teacher, Hans Hofmann refused to stress any style or artistic approach over another. To learn from Hofmann was to acquire formal training through meticulous repetition; only then, he taught, could one venture out into the world and create something truly original.

Founding Principles

Hofmann instilled in his students the importance of studio work and the Hofmann School was a place for students to master the trade of working from still lifes and models, essential skills for the development of any artist. Like Greenberg and Rosenberg, Hofmann believed that all great artwork began and ended in the studio. The singularity of studio practice was a crucial element in any artist's education, and the only way to achieve proficiency in any medium.
The Hofmann School taught the basic principles of "push/pull," which stressed the importance of applying and combining opposing forces in one's art, whether these were color vs. shade or hard, geometric shapes vs. fluid, biomorphic abstractions.
Hofmann adopted a liberal approach to media and stylistic choice; whether representational or completely abstract, Hofmann wanted each of his students to perfect their individual craft through an understanding of its ancestry, and as a teacher, never expressed explicit preference for either representation or abstraction.


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