Premier watercolors on view in Provincetown from Aug. 30

PROVINCETOWN, Mass. – This September, Provincetown Art Association and Museum (PAAM) presents Color Beyond Description: The Watercolors of Charles Hawthorne, Hans Hofmann, and Paul Resika. Curated by artists Rob DuToit and Donald Beal, the exhibition is on view August 30-November 3, 2019. A reception celebrating the exhibition will be held on Friday, September 6 at 8pm (free and open to the public), and the curators will give a Fredi Schiff Levin Lecture on Tuesday, September 10 at 6pm.

This exhibition came about while reviewing the brilliant watercolors of Charles Hawthorne in the collection at PAAM. Hawthorne, the great teacher of the early Provincetown Art Colony, was primarily a painter of portraits of local people in scenes of fishing life and romantic settings. These pictures are very much oil paintings of centrally lit subjects against dark tonal backgrounds, reminiscent of William Merritt Chase and others. Alongside and counter to these pictures he made free flowing watercolors using light filled planes of color which move through space and prefigure modernist use of color and abstraction.


Hans Hofmann, watercolor on paper, c. 1945, 8.5 x 11 in., The Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust

This movement of color and form is taken up again in the watercolors of Hans Hofmann, mid-century seminal teacher in Provincetown and New York. Hofmann’s emphasis on movement of color in space is at its most fluid expression in his watercolors and crayon drawings. Hofmann loved the brilliant landscape of Provincetown, and his art school, which operated from 1935 until his retirement in 1958, promoted the idea of landscape and nature-inspired abstraction by encouraging students to work in direct response to the environment.
The exhibition will also include work of Paul Resika, Hofmann student and colorist painter of the New York School. Resika caries on the tradition of Hawthorne’s “color spot” and Hofmann’s “push-pull” with his use of vibrant watercolor and gouache.
Generous support of this exhibition provided by the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust; Seamen’s Bank Charitable Trust; and Jack Krumholz and Marjorie Jacoby.
Provincetown Art Association and Museum was established in 1914 by a group of artists and townspeople to build a permanent collection of works by artists of outer Cape Cod, and to exhibit art that would allow for unification within the community. Through a comprehensive schedule of exhibitions of local and national significance and educational outreach, Provincetown Art Association and Museum provides the public access to art, artists, and the creative process.
PAAM, located at 460 Commercial Street, is open Thursday through Sunday, 12-5pm, October – May; and daily at 11am, June – September. General admission $12, with free admission for members and children 12 and under, and to the public on Fridays after 5pm. For more information, please call 508.487.1750 or visit
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