Skip to main content

High School: Landscape by Hans Hofmann (Art Card)

Hans Hofmann (American, born Germany, 1880 to 1966), Landscape, circa 1942, oil on board, With permission of the Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

See the slide version of this card:

About the Artist

Hans Hofmann was born in Germany and moved to the United States in the 1930s to teach art. He studied in Paris in the early 1900s and knew Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Robert Delaunay. As a teacher he inspired many midcentury avant-garde painters.


About the Art

In the painting Landscape, Hofmann creates a geometric skyline of small homes in his signature style that weaves together cubist forms with the bright color palette of fauvism. Patches of color define the areas above and below this little townscape. Hoffman was most interested in what he called the “push and pull” between color, form, and space in the picture plane.


Look Closely

  • What shapes can you make out as definite objects? What shapes can you guess about?
  • How might you describe the mood of this painting? How has the artist used color, shape, and line to create the mood you describe?



“The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.” -Hans Hofmann

  • How do you interpret this quote by the artist? How does this relate to the way you experience the world?
  • Hofmann’s famous phrase “push and pull” is most often associated with his signature works of the 1950s and 1960s, in which bold color planes emerge from and recede into energetic surfaces of intersecting and overlapping shapes. In which parts of this painting do you notice the push and pull between colors or shapes?



Hans Hofmann made a painting of this place because it held significance to him. What places are important to you? Which place have you been to or like to go to that has a special significance in your life? How might you capture the essence of that place through art? 


Learn More

Visit the “Learn More” sidebar to find more information about the work of art and artist and find other works of art that relate to the subject matter, media, and techniques used by the artist.