HANS HOFMANN | Setting Sun



Setting Sun
signed and dated 57; signed, titled, dated 57 on the reverse
oil on canvas
60 by 48 in. 152.4 by 121.9 cm.

Price Available Upon Request

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Kootz Gallery, New York
Private Collection, Washington, D.C. (acquired from the above in 1960)
Sotheby’s, New York, May 17, 2019, lot 111 (consigned by the above)
Acquired by the present owner from the above sale

New York, Kootz Gallery, New Paintings by Hans Hofmann, January 1958, cat. no. 7
New York, Kootz Gallery, American and European Group Show, September 1958
Nuremberg, Fränkische Galerie am Marientor; Cologne, Kölnischer Kunstverein; Berlin, Kongresshalle; Städtische Galerie München Lenbachpalais, Hans Hofmann, April 1962 - January 1963, cat. no. 45

Jürgen Claus, Syn: Internationale Beiträge zur neuen Kunst, Bielefeld 1965, p. 34
Suzi Villiger, ed., Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings, Volume III: Catalogue Entries P847-PW89 (1952-1965), Surrey, 2014, cat. no. P1063, p. 138, illustrated in color

Exemplifying the peak of Hans Hofmann’s output, Setting Sun from 1957 is a brilliant constellation of vibrant hues laid down in painterly impasto, coalescing a composition that is mesmerizing for its depth and liveliness. Completed at the denouement of the artist and educator’s career, the reciprocal influence of Hofmann and many of his students, including Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler and Joan Mitchell is evident in this work, wherein Hofmann’s typically blocky slab forms become more lyrical and flowing, and his reference to the natural world more obvious.

Evoking the dazzling beauty of a sunset, the present work is redolent with passages of contemplative calm and a tempestuous, painterliness. Describing this juxtaposition which is a hallmark of Hofmann’s painting, Irving Sandler states: “Each canvas was to be an arena in which opposites vied: nature and abstraction; the material and the transmaterial or spiritual; the preconceived and the impulsive; and the romantically free and the classically ordered and disciplined" (Irving Sandler, “Hans Hofmann: The Dialectical Master” in Exh. Cat., New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Hans Hofmann, 1990, p. 77). A fitting subject for a painter at the end of his career, Setting Sun testifies that the most brilliant moments can occur at the end.

For all enquires, please contact David.Schrader@sothebys.com

Currently Available for Private Sale

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