A retrospective featuring works by longtime Placitas residents Mary and Karl Hofmann will begin the Placitas Community Library’s 2024 exhibition series in the Gracie Lee Community Room. The couple is being celebrated for their collaborative efforts throughout the nearly fifty years they’ve lived and worked together in New Mexico producing ceramics and sculpture, paintings, pastels, and linocuts that speak both to their sense of place and personal history.
Karl Hofmann, who was born and grew up in Germany before immigrating to the United States in the mid-fifties, credits the aesthetic influence of 20th century Japanese potter Hamada when discussing his ceramic work, and relies on memories, personal experience, folktales, legends, and the local landscape to inspire his two-dimensional work. “I do not go out and look at things and try to paint,” says Karl. “I think a camera can do a very good job with that.”
Mary Hofman was initially drawn to the arts through painting, in particular Expressionism and the emotion it evoked. She and Karl met on a blind date 65 years ago when they were both studying art at Michigan State University. After Mary retired from her job at the UNM library, she functioned as business manager and studio assistant for Karl when he was teaching at Albuquerque’s Sandia Prep, and over time the line blurred between her support of Karl’s production and creation of her own hand-built, functional clay works. Now, she is the potter and Karl, who can no longer throw pots, has been producing delightful linocuts and paintings. Her works are quiet and modest in scale while Karl’s clay pots and sculptures are heftier and his linocuts brilliantly colored.
This exhibition continues through February 1 and is the third in a series of annual “legacy exhibitions” presented by the Library Art Committee to recognize resident Placitans who have contributed significantly to the community’s vibrant arts scene over many years.