The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate,
MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
For most of his long life the German-born American painter Hans Hofmann
(1880-1966) was better known for his teaching than for his painting. Only
in 1958, after nearly 45 years as director of his own art school, first in
Munich, then in New York City, did he give up teaching to paint full time.
Already a generation older than such prominent Abstract Expressionists as
Jackson Pollock, Arshile Gorky, Clyfford Still, and Willem de Kooning, Hofmann
took his place as a major and influential member of this first thoroughly
American art movement. In Hofmann's hands a painting became no longer something
someone looked at; it became, rather, something the
viewer interacted with. Paintings no longer represented
something; they were themselves the subject. No longer stationary scenes,
they were now dynamic forces. Far from being illusions of reality, they were
The Golden Wall. JAMA. 2000;284(4):407. doi:10.1001/jama.284.4.407