Rolf F. Hoff - untitled colorist

The works of Rolf F. Hoff have no titles. The artist lets the works speak for themselves, without an explanation of how they are to be understood or what thoughts he wants to convey.

Thus, the viewer is invited to interactivity and participation, to interpret an energetic painting with a myriad of irregular organic elements that form a decorative unit of shapes, colors, letters and symbols.

Rolf F. Hoff was born in 1932 in Buenos Aires, and his life and work differ markedly from contemporary Norwegian artists. After studying in his native Argentina, he went to San Francisco and received his formal education at the leading California School of Fine Art, now known as the San Francisco Art Institute. The San Francisco Bay Area was a center of poetry in the 50's and 60's and had a strong group of painters who combined a figurative style with the abstract expressionism of rough expression and cash. Hoff's art must be understood in the light of his upbringing in Latin America and later studies in the United States, a melting pot of multicultural impulses and experimentation. After completing his education, there will be extensive study trips before Rolf F. Hoff settles in Norway, his father's home country.

His art must have seemed foreign at a time when Norway's leading artists were still deeply rooted in a continental tradition. Hoff had exhibitions in the period 1970 - 1987 in UKS, Landsforening Norske Malere, Kunstnerforbundet and Oslo Kunstforening, but the big breakthrough did not happen. In the period 1970 - 1985, Rolf F. Hoff taught decoration and advertising at Drammen vocational school. Thus, many in the district have benefited from Hoff's thorough formal education in his further career.

Øivind Storm Bjerke, professor of art history at UiO, describes Hoff's work shown at the Oslo Art Association in 1985 as follows:

"Here he stood out as an extremely refined and style-conscious painter with a wide repertoire. … Gave an impression of an energetic, technically superb and not least simultaneous painting. The experience of contemporaneity consisted of several of the images conveying impulses from aspects of neo-expressionism that had to a small extent been expressed in Norwegian painting until then. This was a painting that was so rich in references and substance, that it was strange that the painter did not immediately become a talker. "A complexity that has its background in the diversity of references that lie in the images and that could seem confusing."

The viewer will be in doubt as to whether words and phrases applied to the image should have an explanatory role and give a clue as to how the image should be understood or whether it is only a decorative element. The paintings have a structure that can be seen from different directions. Sometimes there may be doubts about the image hanging up / down. Rolf F. Hoff has explained this by saying that he has taken pictures again to paint on them several years later. This represents new angles and ways of expressing oneself, it gives the paintings a new dimension and makes it difficult to time some of the works.

The works of Rolf F. Hoff provide a spontaneous experience of color with impulses from coloristically liberated painting, abstract and figurative expressionism, pop art and primitive art. The paintings are neither landscapes nor geometric shapes. We sense an expression that is rich in references and meaningful elements, elements added to each other for mutual influence, a form of expression and a way of reproducing a reality that has its origins and its references outside Norway.

The works shown in the Lyche pavilion span a period from the 1960s until 2012. It mainly shows paintings, but also drawings and sketchbooks that show what an eminent artist Hoff is. At the age of 80, he has retained the ability to renew himself without sacrificing his artistic roots.

A richly illustrated catalog has been produced for the exhibition, where Øivind Storm Bjerke elaborates on art historical references and sheds light on Rolf F. Hoff's relationship to the contemporary Norwegian art arena.

Press release

Drammen Kunstforening's exhibition in 2013 deals with the art of Rolf F. Hoff.

Rolf F. Hoff was born in 1932 in Buenos Aires, and his life and work differ markedly from contemporary Norwegian artists. After studying in his native Argentina, he went to San Francisco and received his formal education at the leading California School of Fine Art, now known as the San Francisco Art Institute.

Hoff's art must be understood in the light of his upbringing in Latin America and later studies in the United States, a melting pot of multicultural impulses and experimentation. After completing his education, there will be extensive study trips before Rolf F. Hoff settles in Norway, his father's home country.

The works of Rolf F. Hoff provide a spontaneous experience of color with impulses from coloristically liberated painting, abstract and figurative expressionism, pop art and primitive art. The paintings are neither landscapes nor geometric shapes, but arenas for visual expression.
Øivind Storm Bjerke, professor of art history at UiO, describes Hoff's work shown at the Oslo Art Association in 1985 as follows:

"Here he stood out as an extremely refined and style-conscious painter with a wide repertoire. The exhibition was my first encounter with Hoff's art. It gave the impression of an energetic, technically superb and not least contemporary painting. The experience of contemporaneity consisted of several of the images conveying impulses from aspects of neo-expressionism that had to a small extent been expressed in Norwegian painting until then. At the same time, it was suspected that the preconditions for this art lay in a completely different place. This was a painting that was so rich in references and substance, that it was strange that the painter did not immediately become a talker. "

This is the first representation of his artistic practice from the 1960s until 2012. It shows mainly paintings, but also drawings and sketchbooks that show what an eminent artist Hoff is. At the age of 80, he has retained the ability to renew himself without sacrificing his artistic roots.

A richly illustrated catalog has been produced for the exhibition, where Øivind Storm Bjerke elaborates on art historical references and sheds light on Rolf F. Hoff's relationship to the contemporary Norwegian art arena.

The exhibition opens on Thursday 24 January 2013 at 19.00
Exhibition period 25 January - 1 April 2013
Press screening on Tuesday 22 January in the Lyche pavilion at 13.00
Øivind Storm Bjerke and the artist will be present.

Character tips

The works of Rolf F. Hoff have no titles. The artist lets the works speak for themselves, without an explanation of how they are to be understood or what thoughts he wants to convey. Thus, the viewer is invited to interactivity and participation, to interpret an energetic painting with a myriad of irregular organic elements that form a decorative unit of shapes, colors, letters and symbols.

Rolf F. Hoff was born in 1932 in Buenos Aires, and his life and work differ markedly from contemporary Norwegian artists. After studying in his native Argentina, he went to San Francisco and received his formal education at the leading California School of Fine Art, now known as the San Francisco Art Institute. The San Francisco Bay Area was a center of poetry in the 50's and 60's and had a strong group of painters who combined a figurative style with the abstract expressionism of rough expression and cash. Hoff's art must be understood in the light of his upbringing in Latin America and later studies in the United States, a melting pot of multicultural impulses and experimentation. After completing his education, there will be extensive study trips before Rolf F. Hoff settles in Norway, his father's home country. His art must have seemed foreign at a time when Norway's leading artists were still deeply rooted in a continental tradition. Hoff had exhibitions in the period 1970 - 1987 in UKS, Landsforening Norske Malere, Kunstnerforbundet and Oslo Kunstforening, but the big breakthrough did not happen. In the period 1970 - 1985, Rolf F. Hoff taught decoration and advertising at Drammen vocational school. Thus, many in the district have benefited from Hoff's thorough formal education in his further career.

Øivind Storm Bjerke, professor of art history at UiO, describes Hoff's work shown at the Oslo Art Association in 1985 as follows: “Here he stood out as an extremely refined and style-conscious painter with a wide repertoire. … Gave an impression of an energetic, technically superb and not least simultaneous painting. The experience of contemporaneity consisted of several of the images conveying impulses from aspects of neo-expressionism that had to a small extent been expressed in Norwegian painting until then. This was a painting that was so rich in references and substance, that it was strange that the painter did not immediately become a talker. … A complexity that has its background in the diversity of references that lie in the images and that could seem confusing ».

The viewer will be in doubt as to whether words and phrases applied to the image should have an explanatory role and give a clue as to how the image should be understood or whether it is only a decorative element. The paintings have a structure that can be seen from different directions. Sometimes there may be doubts about the image hanging up / down. Rolf F. Hoff has explained this by saying that he has taken pictures again to paint on them several years later. This represents new angles and ways of expressing oneself, it gives the paintings a new dimension and makes it difficult to time some of the works.

The works of Rolf F. Hoff provide a spontaneous experience of color with impulses from coloristically liberated painting, abstract and figurative expressionism, pop art and primitive art. The paintings are neither landscapes nor geometric shapes. We sense an expression that is rich in references and meaningful elements, elements added to each other for mutual influence, a form of expression and a way of reproducing a reality that has its origins and its references outside Norway.

The works shown in the Lyche pavilion span a period from the 1960s until 2012. It mainly shows paintings, but also drawings and sketchbooks that show what an eminent artist Hoff is. At the age of 80, he has retained the ability to renew himself without sacrificing his artistic roots.

A richly illustrated catalog has been produced for the exhibition, where Øivind Storm Bjerke elaborates on art historical references and sheds light on Rolf F. Hoff's relationship to the contemporary Norwegian art arena.

Rita Winness Chairman

Drammen Kunstforening

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