New York

Hans Hofmann

André Emmerich

At André Emmerich was a small group of paintings by Hans Hofmann, two of them dating from the late forties and the others from the last ten years of the artist’s life. By now Hofmann has been explicated into the ground, but we do not seem to have much to show for all this exegetical effort, and at the risk of appearing anti-intellectual I think that one reason for this is the entirely formalistic nature of the exegeses. In the two earliest paintings in this show (both date from 1947 and are in the artist’s familiar Cubist style) lines are not always the edges of planes, in spite of the derivation of these works, but are often “lines of force.” Hofmann may have been intelligent—but one way in which Hofmann’s work does seem tractable is if one compares his color with Matisse’s, and if one does one must set a firm limit on Hofmann’s lucidity—but his kind of élan vital tended at least to

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