Hans Hofmann’s famous phrase “push and pull” is most often associated with the Abstract Expressionist painter’s signature works of the 1950s and 1960s, in which bold color planes emerge from and recede into energetic surfaces of intersecting and overlapping shapes. First published in 1948 in Search for the Real, and Other Essays, Hofmann defined the term as expanding and contracting forces, which he viewed as fundamental life forces and essential to artistic creation.
Push and Pull: Hans Hofmann brings together key works from the BAMPFA collection with important works from Bay Area collections that manifest Hofmann’s dynamic painterly approach. Employing color, plane, and space, Hofmann sought to achieve creative expression that paralleled nature. “My aim,” Hofmann stated in 1962, “is to create pulsating, luminous, and open surfaces that emanate a mystic light, in accordance with my deepest insight into the experience of life and nature.”
Exhibition overview fro the museum website
Whether you go or not, Hans Hoffman's book Search for the Real and Other Essays is a series of essays that distill his dynamic teachings and philosophy about art.