“Hofmann's ability to handle paint, to fuse the action of painting and drawing into a single, immediate gesture, carried colored pigment into the viewer's presence with the force of a bomb . . . . Hofmann's genius lay in his ability to expand our dimensional experience of the pictorial surface.”-Frank Stella, 1999 This exhibition features twenty-five major paintings by the German-born artist Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) from the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, which houses the world's most extensive museum collection of his works. In 1963 Hofmann gave the University of California nearly fifty paintings, along with a significant cash contribution toward the completion of a new museum building. The artist made this extraordinary gift in recognition of the University's important role in his early career: Hofmann had been invited by the chair of UC Berkeley's Department of Art to come from Germany to teach in 1930 and again in the summer of 1931, when his work was shown at the University and at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco-his first exhibitions in the United States. From Berkeley Hofmann went on to New York City, where he established a new art school in 1933. Over the next twenty-five years, at his schools in New York and Provincetown, Massachusetts, he influenced an astounding array of young artists; among his students were the painters Burgoyne Diller, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, and Larry Rivers. The critic Clement Greenberg referred to Hofmann's Greenwich Village school as a vortex of influence in the burgeoning art scene of the 1930s and 1940s, “a major fountainhead of style and ideas for the ‘new' American painting.” By 1958, when Hofmann closed his schools to devote himself full-time to his own work, he had achieved international recognition as a painter, in addition to wide respect as a teacher and theorist. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted a nationally touring retrospective in 1957, and six years later The Museum of Modern Art in New York organized another major exhibition that toured internationally. In the last decade of his life Hofmann produced a staggering body of vital works confirming his command as a painter of powerfully resonant colors and forms. Many of his signature late paintings are brought together again in this exhibition.