art history

Artist and Teacher: A Hans Hofmann Symposium June 14, 2015

Twenty Summers hosted a two-part symposium sponsored by The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, in celebration of the recently published Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings. The first part is devoted to the catalogue raisonné itself, with a focus on his career-changing Chimbote series. Panelists include gallerist James Yohe, professor Ken Silver, and Stacey Gershon, collections manager at The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust. The second part features a discussion of Hofmann as teacher with Paul Resika and Penelope Jencks, who studied with Hofmann at two different periods of his career.

The Hawthorne Barn A Century of Art

In the first video addressing the legacy of the Hawthorne Barn, Josephine Del Deo, an art historian who has lived in Provincetown since 1950, spoke about artist Charles Hawthorne and his founding of the Cape School of Art. David Dunlap, New York Times reporter and creator of a remarkable online testament to Ptown’s art history spoke about other illustrious artists who worked in the barn.

In the second video, moderated by art critic Karen Wilkin, the focus was on the great artist Hans Hofmann, who worked and taught in the barn after Hawthorne died. Hofmann experts in attendance included Marcelle Polednik (director of MOCA Jacksonville), Lucinda Barnes (chief curator of the Berkeley Museum), and Tina Dickey (author of Color Creates Light). This event was sponsored by the Hans Hofmann Trust.

About the Participants:

James R. Bakker is the president of PAAM, president of the Cape and Islands Historical Association, chair of the Town of Provincetown Visitor Services Board and of the Provincetown Art Commission, and previous executive director of the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.He is also an auctioneer, art dealer, appraiser, consultant and independent curator specializing in American paintings and prints and a member of the Antiques Dealers’ Association of America. He opened the doors to his first antiques shop at the age of fifteen; over the next forty-five years, he had galleries in Littleton, Cambridge, and Boston. Currently he maintains a gallery in Provincetown, where he also resides. Over the past two decades, Bakker has curated numerous museum exhibitions, many with a focus on Provincetown artists. He wrote the chapter “Charles Webster Hawthorne Founds the Cape Cod School of Art” in the The Tides of Provincetown: Pivotal Years in America’s Oldest Continuous Art Colony (1899-2011), published by the New Britain Museum of American Art to accompany their landmark traveling exhibition of the same title.

Lucinda Barnes is chief curator and director of programs and collections at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. Before coming to Berkeley in 2001, Barnes served as curator of collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, and she has held senior curatorial posts at the Newport Harbor Art Museum (now the Orange County Museum of Art) and the University Art Museum, California State University Long Beach. Barnes has organized numerous exhibitions at numerous museums and has lectured widely, most recently about the internationally renowned Hans Hofmann collection at BAM/PFA. In 2002–2004, Barnes’s exhibition “Hans Hofmann: The UC Berkeley Art Museum Collection” toured to the Akron Art Museum, McNay Art Museum, Des Moines Art Center, and the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Barnes is currently working on “Hofmann by Hofmann,” opening at BAM/PFA in July 2014, and a major Hofmann exhibition scheduled to tour in Europe in late 2016 and 2017.

Josephine C. Del Deo (often writing as Josephine Breen Del Deo) is a longtime resident of Provincetown who has enjoyed a prolific writing career spanning poetry, fiction, biography, art history, essays, and plays. She has also been active in a number of significant achievements in local conservation, such as the preservation of 3,000 acres of the Province Lands for the Cape Cod National Seashore in 1961; the preservation and establishment of the Provincetown Heritage Museum (now the Provincetown Public Library) in 1976; and the initial effort, as committee chair, to designate a portion of Provincetown as a Historic District. This initiative, launched in the 1970s, was finally completed by others on behalf of the town in 2003. Her work in art history produced a definitive biography of the Provincetown artist Ross Moffett,  one of Charles W. Hawthorne’s  favorite students, and she has published numerous essays about other area artists, including George Yater, Victor and Charles De Carlo, Mary Hackett, the “Indiana Boys,” Philip Malicoat, Bruce McKain, Oliver Chaffee, William and Lucy L’Engle. Her essay “Ross Moffett and the Modernist Tradition” was included in The Tides of Provincetown, the exhibition catalogue produced for the New Britain Museum of American Art exhibit in 2011. Her personal memoir of dune life on the back shore of Provincetown and Truro  between l953 and 2003, entitled The Watch at Peaked Hill, will be published in 2015.

Salvatore Del Deo is an artist and a longtime community leader in Provincetown. He was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1928, and began his artistic education at the Rhode Island School of Design. In 1945, at theVesper George School of Art, he met Henry Hensche, a protégé of Charles W. Hawthorne. Hensche’s remarkable approach to portraiture convinced Del Deo to enroll in the Cape School of Art, where he studied for three years. In 1953, after subsequent study in New York at the Art Students’ League and a stint in the U.S. Army, he returned to Provincetown, where he met and married his wife, Josephine. A resident since then, he has had a long association with PAAM as a contributing member, vice president, and trustee, initiating classes for children there in 1965. He was also a founding member of the Provincetown Group Gallery and, along with his wife, of the Fine Arts Work Center in 1964. As an artist, Salvatore Del Deo has exhibited in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and widely on Cape Cod. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution, the art museums at Williams College and Smith College, Harvard’s Houghton Library, PAAM, and the Cape Cod Museum of Art. Since 1992, he has been represented in Provincetown by the Berta Walker Gallery.

Tina Dickey, artist, author, and filmmaker, studied painting with former students of Hans Hofmann prior to conducting an oral history, now in the Archives of American Art, and exhibited with them at Copenhagen City Gallery in 1993 (USA on Paper). During her nine years as editor of the Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné (1997–2006), she was chief research consultant for the PBS documentary Hans Hofmann: Artist/Teacher, Teacher/Artist (2002), while editing the journals of painter Myron Stout. She has contributed to numerous books and exhibition catalogs related to Hofmann and his former students in the United States, Canada, Spain, and Germany. Her manuscript on Hofmann’s teaching, Color Creates Light: Studies with Hans Hofmann, was published in 2011.  She is producing and directing an international series of four feature-length independent art documentaries on interrelated master artists; the first, Paint Until Dawn, will be released to festivals in 2015.

David Dunlap is the author and photographer of a building-by-building guide to Provincetown’s history, Building Provincetown, which is available online and in print. He wrote the text of the “Historic Provincetown Walking Tour” map. He lives in Manhattan and has covered architecture and landmarks as a New York Times reporter since 1981.

Dr. Marcelle Polednik is director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville. Prior to her present appointment, she served as the chief curator of the Monterey Museum of Art and as assistant curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art. She holds a Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Dr. Polednik is a published scholar and has curated numerous modern and contemporary art exhibitions. Most recently, she authored “In Search of Equipoise: Hofmann’s Artistic Negotiations, 1940–58” for the three-volume Hans Hofmann Catalogue Raisonné of Paintings (Lund Humphries, 2014).

Karen Wilkin is a New York–based independent curator and critic specializing in 20th-century modernism. She is the author of monographs on Stuart Davis, David Smith, Anthony Caro, Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Giorgio Morandi, Hans Hofmann, and Georges Braque, and has organized exhibitions of the work of these artists, among others, internationally. She is the contributing editor for art for the Hudson Review and a regular contributor to the New Criterion and the Wall Street Journal. Wilkin also teaches in the MFA program of the New York Studio School. Her recent projects include the traveling exhibition American Vanguards: John Graham, Stuart Davis, Arshile Gorky, Willem de Kooning and Their Circle, 1927–1942 (in collaboration with William C. Agee and Irving Sandler), which was chosen as “best show of 2012″ by the Boston Globe, and Hans Hofmann: Magnum Opus (with William C. Agee), a retrospective for the Museum Pfalzgalerie Kaiserslautern in Germany.