Category: At the Archives

At the Archives: Hans Hofmann

At the Archives: Hans Hofmann

Title: Hans Hofmann at work in his studio

Date: 1952

Description: Hans Hofmann in his studio at 53 East Ninth St., New York City, working on a painting.

Creator: Reynal, Kay Bell, 1905-1977, photographer

Born in Germany in 1880, Hans Hofmann was a German-born American abstract expressionist painter. By 1933, and for the next four decades, he lived in New York and in Provincetown. From his early landscapes of the 1930s, to his “slab” paintings of the late 1950s, and his abstract works at the end of his career upon his death in 1966, Hofmann continued to create boldly experimental color combinations and formal contrasts that transcended genre and style.

Courtesy of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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At the Archives: Andy Warhol

At the Archives: Andy Warhol

From the archives today we have a picture of Andy Warhol in 1948 with the right idea for a hot summer day: eating a popsicle in a park. Born in Pittsburgh in 1928, Warhol would have been 20 years old in this picture. An art student at Carnegie Tech, he had already begun his artistic career in 1948. In that year, he had adopted his signature blotted line technique and had also worked as an editor of the student publication, Cano, designing a cover for the magazine in November of that year.

Image Courtesy of: Philip Pearlstein, photographer, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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Leo Castelli and Jasper John

Leo Castelli and Jasper John

Happy 4th of July Atmos! In honor of the holiday, we dug into the archives and found this image of gallerist legend, Leo Castelli, wandering around his Jasper John exhibit in 1958. Born in 1930 in Augusta, Georgia, Johns is one of most influential American painters of the twentieth century. Fun fact, “it has been suggested that the American flag in Johns’ work is an autobiographical reference, because a military hero after whom he was named, Sergeant William Jasper, raised the flag in a brave action during the Revolutionary War”.

Photo Courtesy of Archives of American Art.

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Ben Butler: Unbounded

Ben Butler: Unbounded

Happy Throwback Thursday Atmos! #tbt to Ben Butler’s installation, Unbounded at the Rice University Art Gallery. Butler used over 10,000 sticks of poplar wood to create the large scale work that visitors could explore in. “Butler’s artistic process mirrors nature’s systems of growth where complexity emerges from simple building blocks”. The installation took a week to build; watch a timelapse video of its construction above! 

Video Courtesy of Ben Butler and Rice University Art Gallery.

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Helen Frankenthaler: Guiding Red

Helen Frankenthaler: Guiding Red

Title: A crew installing Helen Frankenthaler’s painting, Guiding Red

Date: 1977

Description: Photo shows four men supporting one corner of Frankenthaler’s painting, in the mezzanine of World Trade Center II.

Creator: Emmerich, Andre, 1924-2007, photographer

It’s an archive type of day! Helen Frankenthaler is considered one of the most influential artists of the mid-twentieth century. Influenced by abstract expressionist, she later invented the “soak-stain” technique, in which she poured turpentine-thinned paint onto canvas, producing luminous color washes that appeared to merge with the canvas. She went on to pioneer color field painting, airy compositions that celebrated the joys of pure color and gave an entirely new look and feel to the surface of the canvas.

The 33 -foot-high work was titled “Guiding Red,” because as she has said, “I was guiding the red — and the red was guiding me”.

Image Courtesy of the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

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