Hofmann – (Parallels)

Hans Hofmann - The Artist Version - 1942 - 42 x 39 in - oil on canvas

This painting is a great example of flattening combined with a sense of perspective.  The depth is provided by the oblique lines which do not  lead to a vanishing point.  This is very important because the vanishing point freezes the viewer and Hofmann avoids this with the parallel lines of the table top and the rung in the chair.  We see parallels in the blue area connecting the chair and a line in the rectangle shape in front of the table.  The blue area can read as another table, or a carpet?  What wonderful play!  He has painted a sense of space in which we can wonder.

I love the transparency of things like reading the chair leg through the top of the container and the table through the package or paintings in front.  We also see this in the vase and cups. His sophisticated colours are wonderful and I hope you can feel how their flatness emphasizes the shapes.  He knows the viewer will mentaly supply the space or depth.


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