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Margo Hoff

A Retrospective


Margo Hoff: A Retrospective August 5-31, 2016

“Art is a language to me, with recurring themes: light, cities, bridges, growing things, landscapes, single objects, fantasies. My early work contained human figures, but along the way they receded and other forms took over. I feel that each work is related to a human experience. I often look at the world from a kaleidoscopic viewpoint turning from one aspect to another, so that sometimes an exhibit of 20 paintings will have as many themes; then again, one point of view may run through the work of several seasons.�


Lithography workshop, Saugatuck, 1945; from left to right: Zuka Omaleu, Margo Hoff, Joan Mitchell

Margo Hoff in her 14th Street studio, New York City


Margo Hoff (1910-2008) was born into a large family in Tulsa in 1910. As a child she spent many hours playing out­side, finding patterns in nature, a practice she pursued throughout her life, rendering them as bright, textural paintings. Hoff graduated from Tulsa University in 1931. Three years later she moved to Chicago, enrolling in the National Academy of Art and later at SAIC. In 1939 she spent a few months in Europe traveling and looking at art, and during her lifetime she traveled and worked in over twenty-five countries, including Brazil, Ethiopia, and Lebanon. Hoff's early paintings often featured a stylized figure in a flat, patterned, and sometimes skewed space, evoking a sense of mystery or a dreamlike quality. She included images of children, holidays, animals, and seashores, still emphasizing design and geometry. With the protagonist usually absorbed in an activity, the viewer is left to construct a narrative to accompany the scene. Hoff's content is largely autobiographical, con­stantly changing with her environs and activities. The human figure remained an important component in her work until two pivotal moments encouraged an interest in abstraction: watching Sputnik I fly over the Earth (1957) and viewing an object through an electron microscope. Hoff became increasingly aware of the space surrounding the figures, rather than just the figures themselves. The human form eventually disappeared from her work, leaving abstract shapes of color in kaleidoscopic arrangements. After moving to New York in the 1960s, Hoff began making collages of painted paper. In 1970 Hoff switched from paper to canvas collages, using vibrant colors to conjure up such sensations as the experience of a crowd, the rhythm of jazz, or the wail of night sirens. She also created lithographs, sculpture, stained-glass windows, wood block prints, and book illustrations. In addition she painted murals and designed tapestries and rugs, as well as stage sets and costumes. Hoff showed in exhibitions at Art Institute Chicago (1945, 1946, 1950, and 1953), winning several prizes. In addition to her long-standing association with FairweatherHardin Gallery, which began in 1955 with her first one-person exhibition in Chicago, Hoff's work was frequently shown in New York, including Hadler-Rodriguez Galleries, Saidenberg Gallery, Babcock Gallery, Betty Parsons Gallery, and Banter Gallery; and in Paris at Wildenstein Gallery. Her work can be found in the collections of major museums including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art and the National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and Art Institute of Chicago.


Public Collections American Federation of Arts, New York, New York Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina Elgin Academy, Elgin, Illinois Fort Wayne Museum, Fort Wayne, Indiana Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon Rosenwald Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Sheldon Swope Art Gallery, Terre Haute, Indiana Staten Island Museum, Staten Island, New York Union League Club, Chicago, Illinois University of Illinois, Chicago Circle, Chicago, Illinois University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota University of Notre Dame Art Gallery, Notre Dame, Indiana University of Texas, Austin, Texas University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City Corporate Collections Allan Bradley Company American Republic Insurance Company Arthur Anderson and Company Bliss and Laughlin Industries Blue Cross Association Borg-Warner Corporation Bucher Advertising, Inc. Burnidge and Cassell Central National Bank of Cleveland Chicago and Northwestern Railway Clifford Law Offices, Chicago Commonwealth Edison Company Ernst & Whinney First National Bank of Chicago Gardner, Jones & Cowell, Inc. George Pick &Company Gould, Inc. Harcourt, Brace & Jovanich Harris Trust and Savings Bank


Home Federal Savings & Loan Association of Chicago Hopkins, Sutter, Owen, Mulroy & Davis Illinois Bell Telephone Company Illinois Tool Works, Inc. Ingalls Memorial Hospital International Minerals & Chemical Corporation Inland Steel Company Isham Lincoln & Beale Lake Shore National Bank Lord, Bissell & Brook The Maytag Company Metal Coating Corporation Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing company National Boulevard Bank of Chicago Northern Trust Bank Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Company Post, Keyes, Gardner, Inc. Quaker Oats Company Richmond, Manhoff, Marsh, Inc. Rollins, Burdick & Hunter Company Ruben, Kaplan & Lansky John Rudin & Company Seyfarth, Shaw, Fairweather & Geraldson Standard Club Tempel Steel Company Thrall Car Manufacturing Company 3M United Airlines U.S. Savings & Loan League Westinghouse Measurement Center


1940s Selected Group Shows 1944 1945 1946 1946 1946 1946 1947 1947 1948 1948 1948 1948 1948 1948 1949

Art Institute of Chicago, "American Show," Chicago, IL Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL Art Institute of Chicago, "Society for Contemporary American Art Annual," Chicago, IL Addison Gallery (Phillips Academy), Andover, MA Milwaukee Art Institute, Milwaukee, WI AAA Galleries, New York, NY Grand Central Gallery, "The Critics Show," New York, NY Nebraska Art Association, NE Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL Art Institute of Chicago, "American Show," Chicago, IL Art Institute of Chicago, "Society for Contemporary American Art Annual," Chicago, IL California Palace of Legion of Honor San Francisco Museum, San Francisco, CA Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL

Selected Two- and Three-Person Shows 1945 Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL 1947 Detroit Institute of Art, Detroit, MI 1948 University of Minnesota Gallery, St. Paul, MN

“In painting, I try to make a concentrated statement, to present an essence, of a figure, a situation, a place. My figures do not ‘talk,’ nor my landscapes ‘move.’ I want them to ‘be,’ to exist on their own sphere, and light, and space. I try to break down the reality to its simplest form, so that everything in the picture is essential and significant.”


Haymarket 1943 Oil on board 16 x 20 inches


Kitchen Windows 1945-46 Oil on canvasboard 20 x 16 inches 22 x 18 inches framed Signed lower right


Restaurant Scene 1948 Oil on board 12 x 14 inches 21 x 23 inches framed Signed lower right


Factory at Night 1940s Oil on board 11.75 x 15.75 inches 19.75 x 27.65 inches framed


Siesta Upstairs 1945 Oil on board 24 x 18 inches 26 x 20 inches framed


Summer Studio 1940s Casein on paper 17.25 x 11.5 inches 27.75 x 18.75 inches framed


Untitled 1940s Casein on paper 14.5 x 20.5 inches 18.75 x 27.5 inches framed


4th Floor Landscape 1940s Oil on board 24 x 18 inches 18.75 x 27.5 inches framed Signed lower left


Selected Solo Exhibitions 1955 1955 1955 1956 1958

1950s

Wildenstein Galleries, Paris, France Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL Saidenberg Gallery, New York, NY Barone Gallery, New York, NY Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL

Selected Two- and Three-Person Shows 1950 Akron Art Institute, Akron, OH 1951 Oehlschlaeger Gallery, Chicago, IL 1952 San Francisco Museum of Art, San Francisco, CA 1952 Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, OK 1953 American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon 1954 Societe Syrienne des Beaux Arts, Damascus, Damascus Syria Selected Group Shows 1950 1950 1951 1951 1951 1951 1952 1952 1952 1953 1953

Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL University of Illinois, "Contemporary American Painting," IL Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL Art Institute of Chicago, "American Show," Chicago, IL University of Illinois, "Contemporary American Painting," IL University of Nebraska, NE Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO Terry Art Institute, Miami Florida Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO Illinois State Museum, IL

“What is abstraction? To me it is a state just before or after—reality. One observation on being a painter is that painting can contain so many elements of other arts: the drama and light of theater, choreography or design of dance, the image making of graphics, the poetics of written words.”


1953 University of Chicago, Chicago, IL 1953 Magnificent Mile Exhibition, Chicago, IL 1954 Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL 1954 Art Institute of Chicago, "Society for Contemporary American Art Annual," Chicago, IL 1954 American Federations of Arts Traveling Exhibition 1954 Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL 1954 Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, TX 1954 Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO 1954 Downtown Gallery, New York, NY 1954 Illinois State Museum, IL 1955 Art Institute of Chicago, "Society for Contemporary American Art Annual," Chicago, IL 1955 Duveen-Graham Gallery, New York, NY 1955 University of Illinois, "Contemporary American Painting," IL 1955 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY 1955 Magnificent Mile Exhibition, Chicago, IL 1955 University of Illinois, IL 1956 American Federation of Arts Traveling Exhibition 1956 Denver Art Museum, "Western Artists Annual Painting Show," Denver, CO 1956 Houston Museum, "Collectors Show," 1956 Illinois State Museum, IL 1956 Radio City (Life Time Fortune Building), American Federations of Arts Traveling Show 1956 Unesco Palace, National Show, Beirut, Lebanon 1956 Whitney Museum, New York, NY 1957 Denver Art Museum, "Man's Conquest of Space," Denver, CO 1957 University of Nebraska, NE 1957-58 French Museums: Traveling show from Art Institute of Chicago 1958 Art Institute of Chicago, "The Artist Looks At People," Chicago, IL 1958 Bath Academy of Art, Coraham Court, Wilshire, England 1958 Lawrence Adler Galleries, Johannesburg, South Africa 1958 University of Illinois, "Contemporary American Painting," IL 1958 Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England 1959 Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL 1959 Columbia Museum, Columbia, SC


Man and Hammock 1950s Woodblock print 10.25 x 16.75 inches 19.75 x 27.5 inches framed Signed lower right; titled lower left


Boy and Bug 1950s Woodblock print 10.25 x 16.75 inches 19.75 x 27.5 inches framed Signed lower right; titled lower left


Darkened Room 1950s Woodblock print 10.7 x 16.6 inches 19.8 x 27.7 inches framed Signed lower right; titled lower left


The Miner’s House c. 1959 Oil on canvasboard 12 x 9 inches 14 x 11 inches framed Signed lower left


Tryst 1955 Casein on paper 13.5 x 10.7 inches 19.8 x 16.2 inches framed Signed lower right


Taxi Crash (Chicago) 1950s Oil on canvasboard 29.75 x 19.75 inches 34 x 24 inches framed Signed lower right


Farewell 1950s Woodblock print 20 x 9.2 inches 27.7 x 19.8 inches framed Signed lower right; titled lower left


Comic Book 1950s Woodblock print 14.2 x 7.4 inches 19.2 x 15.9 inches framed Signed lower right; titled lower left


1960s Selected Solo Shows 1961 Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL 1962 Banfer Gallery, New York, NY 1964 Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL 1965 Adele Bednarz Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 1966 Banfer Gallery, New York, NY 1967 Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL 1968 Banfer Gallery, New York, NY Selected Two- and Three-Person Shows 1960

Obelisk Gallery, Washington, D.C.

“I think that no painter can define his ‘method of working.’ He may show the material he uses — He may discuss his intentions — He may make a demonstration before an audience of his approach to painting. But the thing that happens between him and his materials during the painting of a picture cannot be told. It can only be experienced, and only his painting can tell his story.”


Selected Group Shows 1960 University of Illinois, "Contemporary American Painting," IL 1960 Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI 1961 Whitney Museum of American Art, Annual Exhibition 1961: Contemporary Painting, NYC 1961 Art Institute of Chicago, "Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL 1961 Art Institute of Chicago, "Society for Contemporary American Art Annual," Chicago, IL 1961 Staten Island Museum 1962-1966 Art: USA: Now, (Traveled throughout Europe and the USA) 1962 Art Institute of Chicago, "Annual Exhibition, The Society for Contemporary American Art," Chicago, IL 1962 Milwaukee Art Institute, Milwaukee, WI 1962 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY 1962 Akron Art Institute, "The Why of an Object," 6 paintings of 6 years, Akron, OH 1962 Nordness Gallery, New York, NY 1964 Carnegie Institute, "Pittsburgh International," Pittsburgh, PA 1964 Art Institute of Chicago, "Sixty-Seventh Annual Exhibition by Artists of Chicago and Vicinity," Chicago, IL 1965 Des Moines Art Center, "Collection of American Republic Insurance Company," Des Moines, IA 1966 The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH


Crystal Series Náľ’3 1960s Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 49 x 49 inches Signed lower right


Seaplant 1961 Encaustic 40 x 30 inches 41 x 31 inches framed Signed lower right


Light on Northern Sky 1964 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 70 x 38 inches Signed lower left


Untitled II c. 1968 Oil and crayon on board 36 x 40 inches 37.25 x 41.25 inches framed Signed lower left


Stone Quarry 1960s Acrylic and collage on masonite 47.62 x 39.62 inches 48.75 x 40.62 inches framed Signed and dated lower right


Pyramid White c. 1960 Oil on canvas 37 x 37 inches Signed and dated lower right


Earthbound Cloud 1960s Acrylic and collage on canvas 48 x 40 inches 48.75 x 40.75 inches framed


Untitled c. 1968 Acrylic and paper collage on board 72 x 24 inches 48.75 x 40.62 inches framed Signed lower right


1970s Selected Solo Shows 1970 1971 1973 1974 1974 1974 1977 1978 1979 1979

Moreau Art Gallery, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN Itau Galeria, Exposicao, Sao Paolo, Brazil Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, Savannah, GA Babcock Galleries, New York, NY Drew University, Madison, NJ Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL Moreau Gallery, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN Hadler/Rodriguez Galleries, Houston, TX Hadler/Rodriquez Galleries, New York, NY Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL

Selected Group Shows 1971 1976 1976 1978

Art Gallery, "Collages by American Artists," Ball State University, Muncie, IN Babcock Galleries, New York, NY Clinton county Government Center, "Images/Shapes '76," Plattsburgh, NY Fermilab, Batavia, IL


“One never knows where an idea begins. Each work seems new, but as it develops it becomes evident that it grew out of earlier ones. I wanted to work from the ‘inside out’ and let a work expand as it needed space, rather than using a predetermined size of canvas. That’s the way it began.”


October Hill/Red 1978 Oil and canvas collage on canvas 58 x 42 inches Signed lower right


Flying Blue 1979 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 68 x 82 inches Signed lower right


Chicago Night Flight 1970s Oil and collage on board 48 x 36 inches 49 x 37 inches framed Signed and titled verso


Street Music 1973 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 72 x 124 inches Signed lower right


Restless City c. 1976 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 78 x 132 inches Signed lower right


Fragments of an Ancient Land 1973 Oil and canvas collage on canvas 70 x 83 inches Signed lower right


Stone Mountain c. 1977 Acrylic and paper collage on Masonite 71.75 x 47.75 inches 72.75 x 78.75 inches framed Signed lower right


Night Corner 1970s Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 15 x 15 inches Signed lower right


Post Box 1970s Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 15 x 15 inches Signed lower right


1980s-90s Selected Group Shows 1982 1983 1986 1990 1991 1997

Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY The Queens Museum, "Twentieth-Century Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Selected Recent Acquisitions," Queens, NY Korn Gallery, "Works from the Betty Parsons Collection," Drew University, Madison, NJ Midtown Payson Galleries, New York, N Sid Deutsch Gallery, New York, NY Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, "Crossing the Threshold" New York, NY

Selected Solo Shows 1981 Betty Parsons Gallery, New York, NY 1982 Moreau Gallery, Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN 1982 Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL 1983 Drew University, Madison, NJ 1983 Fermilab, Batavia, IL 1985 Hadler/Rodriguez Galleries, New York, NY 1986 George Ciscle Gallery, Baltimore, MD 1986 Susanna Sheffield Gallery Exhibit, Houston, TX 1987 Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL 1990 Fairweather-Hardin Gallery, Chicago, IL 1991 Alice R. Rogers Gallery, St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 1993 Bill Bace Gallery, New York, NY

“I am an autobiographical artist in that I have always used the events, places, images, remembrances of my life as central themes of my work. I am looking for an essence, or inner life of an idea.” “When I asked what my influences have been my answer is ‘Almost anything except the works of other artists.’ I’ve been influenced by rocks, weeds, views from airplanes, rivers, subways, forests, machines, kinds of lights, red things and imagination.”


Cracked Pepper 1985 Acrylic and canvas collage on Masonite 36 x 36 inches Signed lower right


Marathon 1984 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 54 x 54 inches Signed lower right


Untitled IV c. 1985 Oil and paper collage on board 54 x 48 inches


Night Garden / Noon Garden 1985 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 70 x 40 inches Signed lower right


Sea Plants 1986 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 28 x 46 inches 29.25 x 47.25 inches framed Signed lower right


Untitled I 1983 Oil and collage on board 24 x 15.25 inches 25.5 x 16.75 inches framed Signed lower right


Celebration 1984 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 58 x 42 inches Signed lower right


Fabric Shop c. 1985 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 17 x 17 inches Signed lower right


Floating Blossoms 1990 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 53.75 x 33.5 inches 54.75 x 34.5 inches framed Signed lower right


A Horse in Starry Night c. 1980 Acrylic and canvas collage on canvas 34 x 35 inches 35 x 36 inches framed Signed lower right


Light Calendar Series No. 1 1980s Acrylic and charcoal on canvas 36 x 36 inches Signed lower right


237 East Palace Avenue Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 505.989.9888 www.peytonwright.com info@peytonwright.com

Profile for Peyton Wright Gallery

Margo Hoff: A Retrospective  

Exhibition Catalogue - August 5-31, 2016

Margo Hoff: A Retrospective  

Exhibition Catalogue - August 5-31, 2016

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