Magenta and Blue
Not on view
Oil and graphite pencil on canvas
Overall: 48 1/16 × 58 1/16in. (122.1 × 147.5 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase
Rights and reproductions
© Estate of Hans Hofmann / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Hans Hofmann’s paintings synthesized elements of Fauvism, Cubism, and Expressionism, movements that he encountered during his youth in Paris and whose influences he would pass on to the nascent group of American Abstract Expressionist painters who he taught in New York beginning in the early 1930s. Painted at the age of seventy, Magenta and Blue evokes the still life and interior subjects that Hofmann had explored in the previous decade. The composition appears to depict an abstracted interior divided into four quadrants and painted over a ground of magenta. Parts of a still life on a table suggest the striated forms of a pineapple, a small pitcher, and pieces of yellow fruit. At the same time, however, Hofmann’s title signals his interest in using the composition to explore abstract color rather than representational subject matter.