Fermented Soil

  • Hans Hofmann, Fermented Soil, 1965, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc., 1966.84.1

Exhibition Label

One of the most influential art teachers of the first half of the twentieth century, Hans Hofmann came late to the brilliant abstractions that brought him fame as one of the country's leading modernist painters. He had lived in Paris from 1904 to 1914, knew Picasso, studied alongside Matisse, and saw first-hand the great 1906 Cézanne retrospective. In 1932, Hofmann immigrated to the United States and opened art schools in New York and Provincetown. Students who flocked to his classes were surprised that the renowned modernist set up traditional still lifes and required students to draw from models. But, he said, they needed to understand that modernist concepts of volume and void and the movement of color in space (a concept he called "push and pull") reflect the way forms function in the natural world.

Modern Masters: Midcentury Abstraction from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2008

Fermented Soil
Not on view
48 x 60 in. (121.8 x 152.4 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.

Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Abstract
Object Number
Linked Open Data
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