Gene Hoffman

Gene Hoffman

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.