Lot 113
  • 113

Hans Hofmann

250,000 - 350,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Hans Hofmann
  • Yellow Accent
  • signed and dated 57; signed, titled and dated 1957 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 30 by 25 in. 76.2 by 63.5 cm.
  • This work will be included in the forthcoming Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné, sponsored by the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust.


Kootz Gallery, New York
Private Collection (acquired in 1958)
André Emmerich Gallery, Inc., New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above in March 1977

Catalogue Note

Characterized by its thick impasto and an array of earth tones infused with lemon-colored hues, Hans Hofmann’s Yellow Accent from 1957 was painted during a period largely considered to be the artist’s most consistent and productive years. In 1957, the same year Hofmann’s retrospective exhibition was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Hofmann was approaching his retirement from a long and prosperous teaching career as he became increasingly focused on devoting himself to painting. Hofmann spent over forty years committed to teaching, having instructed notable artists such as Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell.

Yellow Accent anticipates the pictorial vocabulary that Hofmann adopted in his later paintings, characterized by slabs of color. By taking on characteristics of the artist’s formative push and pull practices while retaining a strong sense of density and depth, the present work is an opulent and stunning example of Hofmann’s emerging technique. Rather than the rectangularity and tightly interlocking planes that were to come, the shapes in the present work are less harsh as patches of color fuse together while still echoing planar forms.

Hofmann’s influential role among the Abstract Expressionists was largely attributed to his dedication to color and enthusiasm for form. The artist stated, “In me there develops a real relationship to my paintings, and this is mostly a poetic relationship because what my paintings say is poetry. This is poetry expressed in color” (James Yohe, Hans Hofmann, New York, 2006, p. 9). The title, Yellow Accent, in itself suggests Hofmann’s tribute to color and the brillant vigor with which he expressed his poetry.