Michael Hofmann *1944

Michael Hofmann was born in Chemnitz in 1944.  From 1969 to 1977 he received his artistic education by studying at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste (College of Fine Arts) in Dresden. Until today, this environment is responsible for the character of Michael Hofmann’s art. In his works one feels the reminiscences of old and new masters, especially those of the classical Dresdner Schule (Dresden School), and yet, in its totality, Hofmann’s work is individual.

Hofmann prefers to work in the classical technique of the woodcut. The rough, approximate emphasis of form, and the reduction to the essential, link his works to the expressionism of  the “Brücke” artists, such as Karl Schmidt-Rottluff or Erich Heckel. Whilst emphasizing the expression, with only a few lines, confidently placed, a vital composition is created. Black-and-white woodcuts, as well as the colour woodcuts, printed from a lost form, are characterized by a form-determined structure. Colour, although apparent as a means of expression and harmonizing element, is always subordinate to form, due to its rather flat application. As Hofmann’s prints are specifically made hand prints, and as the artist does not make use of a printing press, the sheets in their only limited edition, are especially attractive to, and in demand by collectors.

Form as a means of expression is also of major importance for the artist’s paintings. But in addition, there is a distinctive emphasis on colour. which in Michael Hofmann’s paintings becomes an all-important element. When creating a unique copy, the artist rarely uses paper. He prefers canvas and a larger format, in order to join and align colours in dense and compact areas. In his colour compositions, the different parts of his painting align constructively, or else and frequently, in a fractured perspective. These distortions, often with a cubist touch, make his works enormously exciting, and are typical for Hofmann’s individual painting style.

As far as motifs are concerned, the artist’s work is distinctly multi-facetted. It comprises landscapes, figure and nude paintings, still lives and interieurs, as well as window pictures with insights and panoramic views. Hofmann recognizes the reality of life, and seems to dissect it analytically before brilliantly reconstructing it in his art work, and thus has most definitely found his very own style also in his paintings, a style which remains constant for his extensive works, and makes him an artist whose works stand out from those of others due to the artist’s inexhaustible imaginative power.

His works fascinate through their sophistication of composition and the vibrancy of colours. They bear witness to, and incorporate an optimism, cheerfulness and a positive outlook upon life, which also distinguish Michael Hofmann as human being. Cheerfulness, confidence and light-heartedness are qualities which Hofmann wishes to impart, with his art, to the viewer.

Above all, Hofmann’s works arouse enthusiasm by their integrity and professionalism. Nature is successfully presented as art – its inherent character is no longer questioned. Art stands and speaks for itself.