Armin Hofmann: Farbe/Color | Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Armin Hofmann: Farbe/Color

Main Gallery
Gallery Exhibition
Armin Hofmann: Farbe/Color

Farbe/Color highlights the work of Swiss graphic designer and educator Armin Hofmann. Curated by April Greiman and organized by the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, this show recognizes Hofmann’s immeasurable influence on generations of designers as well as a first insight into his intense engagement with color. While internationally renowned for his primarily black-and-white posters, Hofmann nurtured a lifelong creative interest in issues of color that played a crucial role in his work as a teacher and in his art for public spaces.

For Hofmann, lecturing at art and design schools and working as a freelance graphic artist went hand in hand: his activities as an educator invariably provided inspiration for his own work. Rather than a doctrinaire approach, Hofmann’s teaching style centered on the students’ engagement with their own experiences and abilities, enabling them to hone their individual perception of design issues.

During his forty-four years of teaching at various institutions across the world, including at the Basel School of Design in Switzerland and the Yale University School of Art, Hofmann accumulated a treasure trove of experiences and findings on the subject of color. Between 1989 and 1999 he produced twenty silkscreen portfolios, each containing twelve compositions. One of these portfolios and eighteen studies for the prints constitute the major focus of Farbe/Color.

Hofmann’s use of color in three dimensions is also featured in this exhibition. Art for public spaces was the only field of his practice in which Hofmann regularly employed color as a defining artistic element. His designs for the built environment will be represented as physical, color interventions into the MCAD Gallery space itself.

About Armin Hofmann

Hofmann (b. Winterthur, Switzerland, 1920) studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Zurich and then worked as a lithographer in Basel and Bern before opening his own studio. In 1947, he began teaching at the Basel School of Arts and Crafts and would remain there for forty years. In 1968, he initiated the advanced class for graphic design, and in 1973 he became head of the graphic design department. He first taught in the United States at Philadelphia College of Art in 1955, and shortly after began teaching at Yale University, where he played a key role until his retirement in 1991. In 1965, he published Graphic Design Manual, a distillation of the essential principles of his rational approach to teaching design. A half-century later, the revised edition of this pedagogical classic is still in print.

About April Greiman

April Greiman (b. New York City, 1948) studied at the Allgemeine Kunstgewerbeschule (General Arts Trade School) in Basel, Switzerland, and the Kansas City Art Institute. She moved to Los Angeles in 1976, establishing her multi-disciplinary practice, currently called Made in Space. 

Greiman is a thinker and artist, whose transmedia projects, innovative ideas and projects, and hybrid-based approach, have been influential worldwide over the last thirty years. Her explorations of image, word, and color as objects in time and space are grounded in her singular fusion of art and technology. Greiman has been instrumental in the acceptance and use of advanced technology in the arts and the design process since the early 1980s.