Julius Hofmann

Painting
Works on Paper
Video
Text

A Child Dances at Night (excerpt)
by Hans-Werner Schmidt (in: Re-Import. Julius Hofmann, 2015, MMKoehn Verlag, Berlin/Leipzig)

Julius Hofmann is a child of the media, yet as a painter he practices the import of images considered to be obsolete back to the canvas. Thus painting also represents a memory of databased images, not as an archive for them but as their reflection. And when HD technology makes for optimum screen definition, then Hofmann very recently responds with increasingly dough-like forms, as might occur with glass slide projections: in the heat buildup, Newtonian rings join poor focus, which coalesces the motifs in a soft, psychedelic play of color. Julius Hofmann can operate sure-footedly in the field of electronic media. While doing so, in order to document his confident treatment of the same, his processing mode is infantilization, a form of spirited ego demonstration that ignores the professional aspect as well as the “courtesy” in social intercourse. The formation of identity in this attitude toward work indicates distance to the popular medium and the corresponding user codex. The playful aspect dominates the instructions for use and user control. As his opposite, the easel demands more creative as well as physical power of Hofmann than the mouse click.
His muscle-bound characters wearing sturdy shoes and wielding a weapon embody apopular ancestral portrait: the screen hero Rambo, that markedly anti-intellectual alternative to the messianic Che Guevara. Rambo also goes out on his guerilla missions as a lone fighter, yet for all of his individualism he obeys the white-collar strategists in the Pentagon. These human fighting machines celebrate poses that in view of the deployment of drones and security firms operating in the background seem martial and helpless at the same time. Yet if one keeps in mind the uniforms and bearing of the globally active jihadists and separatists, suggestive power of these exceptionally aggressive men remains unbroken to this day. However, Hofmann ruptures these images. As is the case in many cinematic blockbusters, the main protagonists time and again take up new assignments in other media, as well as on the shelves in toy stores, where one finds the multipurpose male weapon as Star Wars warriors and Power Rangers, meanwhile in a consummated liaison with mangaculture as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or as Teutans. Hofmann also pays attention to these characters, in particular to their vulnerability and imperfection when, while putting them together, a child’s fingers cannot quite get the upper and lower body to fit properly and the heads that are for the most part disproportionately small are placed precariously on the figure’s shoulder blade. With Hofmann, heroes come across as being flawed handwork. A blow with the fist on the tabletop and the hero in the toy landscape falls apart. Hofmann intensifies this impression by depicting arms and legs to resemble folded cardboard boxes, borrowing from the field of advertising, as in the case of stylized characters like the Michelin man and various Liftboy figures promoting cleaning agents and whose legs serve the sole purpose of wearing creased trousers. By means of these figures, Hofmann finds a visual resonance space in the grandfather generation of today’s pictograms. And if all of these faces of death seem to us to be ossified and alive in equal measure, then is probably their relatedness to the mummery of James Ensor’s necrophilia as well as to the numerous visual documents of Sicilian catacombs, whose residents welcome us, at once present and absent.

Biography

1983 born in Göttingen (Germany)
2005-2011 Studies of Painting at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig
2007 - 2009 in the class of Prof. Neo Rauch
2009 - 2011 in the class of Prof. Heribert C. Ottersbach
2011 Diploma
lives and works near Göttingen

 

Solo shows

  • 2018 Cinematic Cybernetics, Museum of Visual Arts, Leipzig
  • under der linden, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
    under der linden II, Ornis A. Gallery, Amsterdam
    ART COLOGNE New Positions
  • 2016 Might of Young Engines, SSZ Sued, Cologne
  • 2015 Might of Young Engines, Ornis A. Gallery, Amsterdam
    Ecstatic Solitude (with Michael Kirkham), Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    2013 Mustang, Villa Katzorke, Essen
    Stony Fields, Ornis A. Gallery, Amsterdam
    Regulator, galerie baer, Dresden
    Initiative and Surrender, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    2011 The harvest of live, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Aurora, Ornis A Gallery, Utrecht (The Netherlands)
    "Nemesis", UNC Gallery, Seoul (South Korea)

Group shows

  • 2018 MdbK meets G2. Painting from Leipzig since 2000, Museum of Visual Arts, Leipzig
  • 2017 Colors of Descent, G2 Kunsthalle, Leipzig
  • Artists of the Gallery, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
  • 2016 Your Light Is My Darkness (part III), Gerhard Hofland, Amsterdam
  • Your Light is my Darkness (part II), Feinkunst Krüger, Hamburg
    Kunsthochschulen zu Gast. HGB-Fachklasse Prof. Ottersbach, Bayer Kultur, Leverkusen
    Storyteller. Contemporary Art from Leipzig, National Art Museum & Goethe Institut Hanoi (Vietnam)
  • Immer und Ewig. 23th Leipziger Jahresausstellung, Westwerk Leipzig
  • Tiere sehen dich an, Zionskirche, Berlin
  • 2015 Nocturne. Ahnung, Abgrund und Apokalypse in der zeitgenössischen Kunst, Kunsthalle der Sparkasse, Leipzig
    Personalities on Paper, Ornis A. Gallery, Amsterdam
    Gute Kunst? Wollen! SOER-Rusche Collection, Auf AEG, Nürnberg
    Wahrheiten, Museum Abtei Liesborn, Liesborn (Germany)
    Your Light is my Darkness (I), Re:Surgo, Berlin
    2014 bb, Galerie Kleindienst, Leipzig
    Wahrheiten - works from SØR Rusche Collection oelde/Berlin, Bayer Kulturhaus, Leverkusen
    BGL#1, Kesselhaus, Bergisch Gladbach / Cologne
    Mensch werde wesentlich, Art association FAK, Zwickau
    Class Ottersbach - The horses are dead, Forum Kunst, Rottweil
    2013 Un été spectaculaire, Ornis A. Gallery, Amsterdam
    WIN /WIN - Purchases by the Cultural Foundation of Saxony 2013, Baumwollspinnerei HALLE 14, Leipzig
    Blumen, Flowers, Blomster, Galerie Mikale Andersen, Berlin
    Tierstücke - Dutch animal painting of the 17th century in dialogue with contemporary painting, SØR Rusche Collection Oelde/Berlin, Museum Abtei Liesborn, Liesborn
    2012 German now - from Leipzig, Seongnam Art Center, South Korea
    New Smokes from Old Fires, Frappant, Hamburg
    Eros und Thanatos (SØR Rusche Collection), Werkschauhalle Leipzig
    A:B:C: Mooning, Gallery FIST, Hamburg
    2011 18. Leipziger Jahresausstellung
    After the Goldrush, art association Speyer
    Gallery Genscher, Hamburg
    Chamber of wonders, Amsterdam
    Convoy Leipzig, Biksady Gallery, Budapest
    Saxonia Paper, Kunsthalle of Sparkasse Leipzig
    2009 Curse of akribic, art association Bad Sulzfeld
    Black swans, Junges Forum, Wiesbaden
    2008 Young Art 13 - Christoph Freidhöfer, Sonja Kälberer, Julius Hofmann, Albrecht Pischel, Danny Schulz | Paintings, Photography, Installation, Video, Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig

Bibliography

  • 2015 Julius Hofmann - REimport (catalog), MMKoehn, Leipzig/Berlin
    Nocture. Ahnung, Abgrund und Apokalypse in der zeitgenössischen Kunst (catalog), Sparkasse Leipzig
  • 2012 German Now. From Leipzig (catalog), Seongnam Arts Center and UNC Gallery, Seoul (South Korea)
  • 2011 Convoy Leipzig (catalog), Biksady Galerie, Budapest
    Julius Hofmann: Die Ernte des Lebens (catalog), LUBOK / Gallery Kleindienst, Leipzig
    "Julius Hofmann", in: Salié, Olaf: Rising. Young artists to keep an eye on. Köln: daab.