Recently George Hofmann, a faculty member from 1967 to 2002 in the legendary Hunter College art program, contributed a post to Art Critical about artists who write. “As an artist I am most drawn these days to reading blogs of other working artists,” Hofmann wrote. “What sets apart the artist’s blogs is their earnestness and faith. Critics analyze and dissect, but do they write from the heart, as artists do? Artists may wish to promote themselves, but in writing they are usually working, and thinking…. Artists who write write for a purpose. They may be working out their own trajectories, erratic and capricious, but, mostly, they are writing out of necessity. This is a big part of what now actually moves art along; in my view, we need it.”
In the Comments section painter-writer Laurie Fendrich responded that “writing form the heart” isn’t what makes artists’ writing worth reading. “The experience of being an artist teaches artists how to be loners–to take aesthetic stands that aren’t necessarily popular,” Fendrich wrote. “Whether they write well or not, they almost always have a lot of interesting takes on the world in general.”
A painting from Hoffman’s 2011 “Duccio Fragment” series accompanied the post. The casual combination of emergent paint marks on unprimed wood panels caught my eye. I sent Hofmann a note to ask if there are other paintings in the series. Here are the images he sent me.
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