Bavarian-born Hans Hofmann settled in New York in the late 1930s. During the 1940s he became a devoted and influential teacher, especially of the first and second generations of Abstract Expressionists. In Towering Spaciousness, the artist combines strictly defined geometric forms with thickly applied, gestural areas of orange, blue, yellow, pink, and green. Blocks of color are built into towering spatial intervals. Indeed this painting well represents the artist's "push-and-pull" theory. In considering the spatial relations he created on the picture plane, Hofmann wrote in 1948: "Push and pull are expanding and contracting forces which are activated by carriers in visual motion. Planes are the most important carriers, lines and point less so."
Oil on canvas
84 1/4 x 50 in. (214 x 127 cm)
frame: 89 × 55 × 4 3/4 in. (226.1 × 139.7 × 12.1 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower right: "56/hans hofmann"
Signed on the reverse by artist in black paint, "Towering/Spaciousness/ 84-60, 1956/ hans hofmann"
On the reverse top cross bar label, "KOOTZ GALLERY, NEW YORK"
Another label on the stretcher, "The 7 Santini Brothers, NYC, NY 38"
This item is not on view
Gift of William Sachs
© artist or artist's estate
Copyright for this work may be controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders. A more detailed analysis of its rights history may, however, place it in the public domain.
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Hans Hofmann (American, 1880-1966). Towering Spaciousness, 1956. Oil on canvas, 84 1/4 x 50 in. (214 x 127 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of William Sachs, 68.51. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 68.51_recto_PS2.jpg)
recto, 68.51_recto_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.