With her spatial compositions and dynamic structures in cardboard and paper, Caroline Hofman (Aachen, Germany, 1969) reaches the breaking point of recognizability and alienation, moving between the imagery of the everyday object and context-free graphic structures. For Hofman, the appeal of her material lies in its unexpected richness, how a single sheet carries the potential of three-dimensionality, how a seemingly ‘neutral’ and industrially manufactured material 'breathes’, conveys a warm and tactile character.
Hofman’s work derives its meaning from an encrypted relationship with reality. Feathers, buckets, chairs and wickerwork; recognizable elements are isolated on the basis of their graphic qualities. Repetition and seriality play a key role in her visual language: they ‘affirm’ forms ánd lead to an alienating effect, to new aesthetic experiences. Hofman shows the hidden qualities of the everyday and neglected, she uses ‘visisection’ to determine the secret life of familiar forms.
Freedom of perception is an essential quality of her work, granting an ‘open view’, with as little steerance as possible. Hofman refrains empathically from the use of color, and her imagery is free of narrative and the anecdotal – despite its reference to the tangible everyday. The work testifies to a strong interest in a formal and linguistic reduction, it conquers silence and excludes the abundant and superfluous.
Hofman's structures and compositions 'function' through an intimate process of 'internalizing' existing forms. They show us how rhythm, proportion and scale, with reality as an 'inspirational stopover', find their way into autonomous works.
A monographic publication on Caroline Hofman, edited by Antoon Melissen, will be published in summer 2020. More information soon on this website.