Color Beyond Description

The Watercolors of Charles Hawthorne, Hans Hofmann, and Paul Resika

August 30 - November 3, 2019

Curated by:
Rob DuToit and Donald Beal
Opening Reception:
Friday, September 6 at 8pm

About the Exhibition

This exhibition came about while reviewing the brilliant watercolors of Charles Hawthorne in the collection at PAAM. Hawthorne, the great teacher of the early Provincetown Art Colony, was primarily a painter of portraits of local people in scenes of fishing life and romantic settings. These pictures are very much oil paintings of centrally lit subjects against dark tonal backgrounds, reminiscent of William Merritt Chase and others. Alongside and counter to these pictures he made free flowing watercolors using light filled planes of color which move through space and prefigure modernist use of color and abstraction.

This movement of color and form is taken up again in the watercolors of Hans Hofmann, mid-century seminal teacher in Provincetown and New York. Hofmann’s emphasis on movement of color in space is at its most fluid expression in his watercolors and crayon drawings. Hofmann loved the brilliant landscape of Provincetown, and his art school, which operated from 1935 until his retirement in 1958, promoted the idea of landscape and nature-inspired abstraction by encouraging students to work in direct response to the environment.

The exhibition will also include work of Paul Resika, Hofmann student and colorist painter of the New York School. Resika caries on the tradition of Hawthorne’s “color spot” and Hofmann’s “push-pull” with his use of vibrant watercolor and Gouache.

Generous support of this exhibition provided by the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust; Seamen’s Bank Charitable Trust; and Jack Krumholz and Marjorie Jacoby.

Image: Hans Hofmann, watercolor on paper, c. 1945, 8.5 x 11 in., The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust