Do Hans Hofmann's paintings of the 1940s and 1950s belong to the movement called the New York School? Most people who care about such painting would say yes, but their answer is usually accompanied by worries or provisoes. Hofmann was so much older than his American counterparts, so deeply formed by previous experiences with Fauvism and Cubism, and his version of New York School abstraction was so extreme and cantankerous (some would say erratic) that even if his theory and teaching were taken as exemplary, his actual painterly achievement in the 1950s never seemed entirely to make sense to artists and critics, or to settle down in one place on the aesthetic spectrum. Nor has it got any easier to value and characterize since. This exhibition starts from the hypothesis that Hofmann's excessiveness as an artist late in life may be exactly the quality that makes him interesting. More than that, it may prove the key to a renewed understanding of the New York School in general. That we stand in need of such renewal would, I think, be widely admitted. The standing accounts of the movement are stale, if not outright misleading. Current art practice largely prefers not to look too long at the New York Schoolers' "maleness" and Americanness and rugged individualism, and warms even less to their seemingly inexhaustible confidence in painting. Granted, these poses and commitments are hard to love; but then, so are the value-systems underpinning the art of Monet or Rubens or Phidias. The question to ask (and I am very far from saying that is has an open-and-shut answer in the post-war American case) is whether Hofmann or Rubens or Phidias feed on their particular worlds of ideology, and exemplify them -- put them into material form -- in such a way as to convince us (no doubt by sleight of hand) that individualism or absolutism or city-state militarism contains part of the Truth. This exhibition is deliberately small, drawn from the museum's own holdings and loans from Bay Area and Los Angeles collections. It is meant to have a work-in-progress feeling. How does Hofmann match up, it asks, to Pollock, de Kooning, Krasner, Kline, and company, and how does their work look different with Hofmann's next to it? Can we think again about the Abstract Expressionists' debts to the older artist, and the peculiar (fiercely competitive) response of Hofmann to what his juniors were doing? How does stretching the outlines of the New York School, to include early Joan Brown and Morris Louis, alter things? The exhibition uses wall texts -- all but one drawn from writing done in Hofmann's lifetime -- to give the flavor of critical response, and to conjure up the jockeying for artistic primacy that was characteristic of the 1950s. The hope is not to solve the problem of Hofmann's late work, or pretend there is no problem, but to show why the problem is worth taking seriously, and how doing so might help us look again at what the New York School was up to.