July 2008, Peter Allen Hoffmann @ Freight + Volume

 Peter Allen Hoffmann, Proscenium, 2008
 Oil on Canvas, 13 x 13 in/ 33 x 33 cm
 Courtesy Freight + Volume, NY

Peter Allen Hoffmann
Freight + Volume
June 21 through July 18, 2008

Peter Allen Hoffmann’s newest explorative paintings, on exhibit at Freight + Volume in New York, preclude and originate from a pastoral and an art historically rich context. These keyholes, or as taken from the entitled painting and exhibition, Proscenium, these arches, are uncovering scenes and sampling of tenuous light and texture delicately laying atop another. Aside from these landscapes in his second solo show, Hoffmann has introduced geometric minimal abstractions. They refresh and quiet the exhibition space further. The works simply begin to murmur, suggesting implicitly the form of the landscape is the center of the work rather than the geographical area or place. Where they reference low valleys, rolling hills and their blue skies, the work is clearly formalizing a way of making. Dull, like squinting into a distance or a past, conjuring romantic idlings of great painters and their emotional skies, referenced as in Drift, yet, it is so unclear or undefined as to specific place or time. The murky water of memory and art historical reference here is abstracted to tonality and light, and paint.

 Peter Allen Hoffmann, Drift, 2008, Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 in/ 30.5 x 30.5 cm
 Courtesy Freight + Volume, NY

One might feel as though we have only just stepped out onto the other side of our wardrobe as we view these landscapes. Hoffmann aims to see farther rather than immediate or near. The paintings encompass the peripheral and everything in between. As even in a painted space of less than 12 inches by 12 inches, one immerses in its vastness. Even in such intrinsic spaces, the blurred brushed foliage tells of its acres. After G.M. is a late spring forest, morning light, mist coming from the mountains, fading or remembering. As they become the backdrop, we are reminded of the architectural formalism, keeping us contained within, staging our experience and our view. Ancient Greek theater said we were to be 'in front of the scene.' Here, we are to see with edges.

 Peter Allen Hoffmann, After G.M., 2007, Oil on canvas, 8 x 8 in
 Courtesy Freight + Volume, NY

Native to Philadelphia, Hoffmann completed his undergraduate degree at Bard College, notable for its location along the Hudson River. He continued his education at Hunter College in New York where he received his MFA in 2005. Philadelphia is noted to be an enriched city within its history and its natural sciences. As Philadelphia was once the medical educational center during Benjamin Franklin’s time, the gardens to which they derived their medicinal discoveries and advancements still thrive. Not so far north, and about 100 years later, the Hudson River School explored and capitulated the splendor of the gouged out ancient river. Perhaps referenced and thus began Hoffmann’s painting career. As actors train to voice themselves through their characters and writers are told to be honest, Hoffmann exemplifies a bit of his own self.

  Peter Allen Hoffmann, After A.D., 2008, Oil on canvas, 12 x 12 in/ 30.5 x 30.5 cm
 Courtesy Freight + Volume, NY

Hoffmann is also represented by Thomas Robertello Gallery, Chicago.

Emily Schroeder

Emily Schroeder has worked in archives and libraries, including Anton Kern Gallery, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and just recently the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  She has just relocated to Chicago to pursue graduate studies.

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