Colour Creates Light:
in Four Films
The teaching in the atelier of Hans Hofmann (1880–1966), permutated through an international diaspora of
three of his alumnae, offers a conduit into the heart of the visual creative process.
Our individual and collective survival depend on creative thought.
Pandemic Premiere Online
8-14 June 2020
Paint Until Dawn
Alone in the studio deep into the night, James Gahagan (1927–1999), former Associate
Director of the Hofmann school, pushed the limits of vision, invoking nuances of his
environments to create transcendence. Engagement was key: translating the visual meanings of Hofmann's
famous critiques, mobilising artists to legalize NYC loft living. His move north would transform the
isolation of Vermont.
Canadian master colourist Joseph Frances Plaskett (1918–2014), a representational
rebel who introduced half of Toronto’s Painters Eleven to Hofmann and to each other,
sidestepped the abstract era to spend fifty years in Paris and his last sixteen in
the UK, promoting internationalism in the arts and exploring how Hofmann’s teachings
relate to realism.
Danish master colourist Erik Koch (1933–), one of Hofmann’s final students,
sought over decades to capture the essence of visual poetry through geometric forms.
His colourpoems suggest the rhythms of the medieval streets of Provence and the community
of poets and musicians he gathers, showing one of myriad routes into the future of painting.
Hofmann’s students could, and did, work in any style or medium they chose. Six master artists
find diverse paths through the labyrinth of his teaching in a film shot across the US, the UK,
and France. Diving deeply into the inner working of the visual language and backed by a
chorus of their peers, they reveal a thought–scape of perennial considerations that
might otherwise be lost.