Hans Hofmann on Subject Matter

Each artist has a way of working…here’s Hans Hofmann’s

Every subject matter depends on how to use meaning. You can use it in a lyrical or dramatic manner. It depends on the personality of the artist. Everyone is clear about himself, as to where he belongs, and in which way he can give aesthetic enjoyment. Painting is aesthetic enjoyment. I want to be a “poet”. As an artist I must conform to my nature. My nature has a lyrical as well as a dramatic disposition. Not one day is the same. One day I feel wonderful to work and I feel an expression which shows in the work. Only with a very clear mind and on a clear day I can paint without interruptions and without food because my disposition is like that. My work should reflect my moods and the great enjoyment which I had when I did the work.

From a Xerox copy I found in my notes from Contemporary Art p. 567


  • Alison Horton

    I think that Hans Hoffman had much more depth to him than you give him credit for. As for myself I paint geometrical elements and there is no external association, repetitive use of form as experimentation which leads
    to freedom of expression. Colour and form, in abstract terms and juxtaposition of colour and form. Fundementally, I researched into Wassily Kandinsky who was anti materialist and was into the inner self, purporting to an attainment of sprirituality.

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