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Karl Hofmann: Shapeshifters

On view at Albuquerque Museum February 2019 - May 2020. Contemporary artist Karl Hofmann installed a unique, site-specific sculpture in the Museum lobby.

Karl Hofmann: Shapeshifters

Karl Hofmann Shapeshifters 2019

Karl Hofmann, Shapeshifters (detail), 2019
PHOTO CREDIT: Suzanna Finley

Karl Hofmann


Albuquerque Museum 
Visiting Artist Program

Since 2011, the Visiting Artist program at Albuquerque Museum has featured contemporary artists with a connection to New Mexico. The annual program provides an invited artist the opportunity to reimagine and activate the museum’s lobby, which is the first space visitors encounter upon entering the museum. The program includes the display of the artist’s work for one year, public engagement, and artist talks. The program aims to provide a bridge between the artistic practice of the visiting artist and the experience of contemporary art by the public.

The Visiting Artist program considers artists with compelling conceptual creativity. The large scale space of the museum lobby has inspired several artists to create site-specific installations. Artists, however, are given the freedom to determine how they want to interact with the space.

2011: Gronk 
2012: Catalina Delgado Trunk
2013: Larry Bob Phillips
2014: Ernest Doty
2015: Lea Anderson
2016: Virgil Ortiz 
2017: Paul Sarkisian
2019: Karl Hofmann




February 2019 - May 2020

Albuquerque Museum visitors are invited to view the progression of the installation of a unique, site-specific sculptural work of art created by Karl Hofmann in the lobby of Albuquerque Museum beginning February 11, 2019. Albuquerque Museum visitors will be able to view the progression of the artwork throughout February and March, and the installation will remain on view throughout 2019.

Karl Hofmann builds large-scale installations that turn every-day materials into abstract spectacles of shape, color and light. His site specific structures transform spaces by bringing together built forms that seemingly defy gravity. Utilizing boards, plywood, and various types of hardware and lighting, Hoffman “builds” paintings. His three dimensional works are in conversation with the processes of two dimensional painting as he continually works to resolve issues that a painter grapples with including light and shadow, perspective, and balance.

Hofmann’s creative practice involves a certain level of improvisation. Each decision in his process reflects on the one before and influences the next. While he begins each installation with a specific plan, his projects tend to take on a life of their own as the materials and the physical place impact the finished work. Hofmann describes his approach as an intuitive conversation between the materials and the space in which the work is being installed.
According to Hofmann, “I work to harness the potential beauty I find inherent in everyday things and enhance and distort those qualities through a process that involves drawing, collecting materials, shaping and painting and finally intuitively composing. I am attuned to the way that our world is composed of deep patterns hidden under the surface details. Like an ecosystem, my work relies on the careful integration of many parts to form a coherent, interlinked whole.”

The installation will be a unique, one-time artwork that will never be replicated. Hofmann’s artworks are different every time and exist only temporarily. As a result, the viewer is entering into an experience that is fleeting in nature.

Hofmann has a background in painting both in natural and in urban environments. He is interested in exploring the ways that light and shadow expose surprising combinations of shape, form, color and texture. Hofmann holds a BFA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from the University of New Mexico. His work has been the recipient of numerous awards and is in several collections.

View more information about Karl Hofmann.