For Hofmann, as for adventurers before him, every stroke, shape
and color must be related to every other stroke, shape and color.
Everything in the painting works together to create something that
can’t be pulled apart. The forms are built up and scratched
away in the process of painting: naming, fixing, and not naming,
not fixing. Shapes push one way and are forced back another, wailing
some new kind of good news.
Hofmann taught and painted the creed of painting. Not just twentieth
century abstraction, but painting of all time. And not just painting,
but all art of all time. And maybe not just art but life, because
for him they were the same thing.
Every point counts-
every thickness and thinness counts
every direction-every brushstroke
and so do the most undifferentiated color shades-
They do not count for themselves
their velocity and power is manifested
in the magic relation unto them-
Make the picture furrowed like the earth
and brilliant like the sun
make it pearl and diamond-laden
with color in every shade
make it hard and weighty like a rock-
but dewy like fruit and
pulsating as blood does in
a loving heart
and fill it with life and laughs and
that it may be felt how you have
as the maker of a new world.