Push/Pull: Applying Hofmann’s theory to your Artmaking

Master painter and teacher Hans Hofmann had a school in Provincetown from 1935 to 1958, influencing a generation of art students who went on to become some of the most important painters in America. Course instructor Laura Shabott learned of Hofmann’s push/pull theory through her studies with the master painter and teacher Robert Henry and as a gallery assistant at Berta Walker Gallery.

This course is designed to deepen your understanding of Hofmann’s contribution to painting and how it relates to your artwork. Day one, we will move through guided exercises, using charcoal on paper and paint on canvas, that demonstrate the difference between perspective and Hofmann’s push/pull theory when creating on a two-dimensional surface. Day two, we start with gestural drawings and then paint exploring the relationship of color and form as it pushes and pulls on the canvas.

Breaks for discussion on how to integrate this way of working into your unique visual vocabulary include encouraging feedback in a safe group environment. Individual conversations with the teacher will occur throughout this affirming, process-based course. A model is provided for both days.