Born in Pennsylvania in 1933, Gene Hoffman taught himself design and worked as an art director at an advertising agency until 1954. Gene Hoffman was working in San Francisco as a free-lance artist in the early 1960s.
Here, he is shown in a 1962 issue of the “Galley West”, the newspaper of the Art Directors and Artist Club of San Francisco. (Note: “Galley West”, a “galley”—as some of us well remember—was a first proof of copy when type was set in metal. This print on newsprint paper, 7″ wide, was for proof-reading and sizing only…before the clean, clay-based print for paste-up was requested.)
Gene Hoffman was an award winning artist with Gold Medals from the New York Society of Illustrators, the Art Directors Club of Denver, Oklahoma City, Phoenix, and Dallas / Ft.Worth…in addition to his artwork being featured on national magazine covers. Those who remember Gene, would say that Gene spoke a lot…on many subjects… and with much humor. His illustrations in ink or paint, soon moved to a style that that no longer needed trips to Flax art supply store (at that time, at Bush and Montgomery streets). He was finding his medium, his palette, everywhere! While producing a great many collages, Gene moved to Colorado and taught at University of Northern Colorado, spreading his enthusiasm to many years of art students. One of his students, designer, Sara Jacobs (Shablingo), received this comment on her website after she wrote about Gene’s graphic design class.
Gene’s wife, Sue Turngate wrote:
I was married to Gene for 25 years. He cared so much about his students, and yep, took it personally when folks were not engaged. And when students were engaged, he was very devoted. I’m still in touch with a number of his former students. At some point, I’d like to find a home for Gene’s art. After he passed away in 2005, there were a few more exhibits of his work – bur really, it would be wonderful for more people to get to experience it.
Below are some examples of Gene’s early work and a few of his assemblages.