Irwin D. Hoffman, American (1901 - 1989)

Irwin D. Hoffman (1901-1989), was born on Chelsea Street, East Boston in 1901, one of four sons of Russian immigrant parents. Hoffman's artistic talents were recognized very early on and by the age of 15, Hoffman enrolled as a special student at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts School, and upon graduating from high school, became a full-time student on full scholarship.

At age 19, Boston's Grace Horne Galleries gave the young artist his first solo show where his works were displayed to the public in grand manner and the press referred to him as "a prodigy in portraiture." In 1924, Hoffman received The Paige Traveling Scholarship, the Museum School's most prestigious award. Traveling abroad with fellow award recipients and good friends Aiden Lassell Ripley and Carl Gordon Cutler, he studied and painted across Europe and became "grounded in the traditions of the past, but at the same time … keenly (aware of) the modern trend of painting, discerning in it a spirit and regeneration which greatly influenced his development." (Arnold Hoffman)

Upon his return from Europe, Hoffman established himself in a NYC studio, which he maintained until his death in 1989. From his base in New York, Hoffman traveled during the 30s & 40s with his brothers who owned a mining company and prospected in the southwestern US, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Many of the canvases in this current exhibition reflect these travels. Hoffman connected and became friendly with the local residents of the small villages he visited, as with the miners who worked for his brothers.

Known early on as a talented portrait artist, and later as a prominent etcher of gritty genre scenes, the current exhibition highlights Irwin D. Hoffman's mastery of the oil medium. His brilliant hues and impasto technique convey atmosphere and attitude while establishing an empathic connection between subject and viewer.

Partial list of exhibitions:
1927 First Solo Show, Grace Horne Galleries, Boston
1932 Solo Show, New School of Social Research, NYC
1933 Group Show, ACA Gallery, NYC
1934 Solo Show, Empire Galleries, NYC
1935 Solo Show, Ehrich-Newhouse Galleries, NYC
1939 Solo Show, "Miners and Reapers" Associated American Artists, NYC
1939 Golden Gate International Exposition(Mining Murals, San Francisco
1940 Society of American Etchers, National Arts Club, NYC1941 Barzansky Galleries, NYC
1945 Solo Show, Associated American Artists Galleries, NYC1981 Solo Show, Boston Public Library
2001 Irwin Hoffman: In His Time, Alfred J. Walker Fine Art, Bosto


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