Historical information

Norman Keith HOFMAIER (12.08.1951- )
Born Beulah, Wimmera, Victoria

Norman Hofmaier was a scion of a well-known family, he completed his secondary education at Hopetoun High School and Ballarat College. Later he studied Visual Art at University of Ballarat, including painting, design and sculpture.

Hofmaier’s childhood in Beulah was spent on the family property running beside the Yarriambiack Creek. Both he and his father had an intimate knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Mallee. The Wyperfeld National Park, home to the Big Desert, was a favourite place for Norman’s uncle who planted acres of native trees at the family property. Dr Di Bresciani explains: “The colours and vastness of the Mallee are represented in many works which reflect, variously, the relentless quiet and swirling energies found in the ‘dust storm might’ of the Mallee area. Most works may be described as abstract, lyrical abstract or abstract expressionist."

His work reflected his exploration of his inner state, sometimes flowing and placid, sometimes tempestuous.

After a brief sojourn into city-life Norman returned to working in the country, until finally submitting to mental illness and permanent care in the mid 1990s. Norman Hofmaier's works are represented in major collections including that of the well- known artist Mitch Pearson ( an important influence and lifelong friend). The work 'Pastel of a Nude' was shown in a widely distributed magazine and two works owned by Mark Shannon were planned to be published as record covers in 1993.

He won an award during the bicentennial recognising his skill as a Wimmera artist. From the 1970s until the 1990s he began an outpouring of work, using oil-based paints overlaid manually on large, specially-prepared boards using brushes, cloths, sponges, sprays or rollers. Petrol solvents were used to soften, blur and enhance shapes and edges.

This work was purchased from the exhibition 'Norman Hofmaier: Mallee Mysteries' at the Lost Ones Gallery in Camp Street, Ballarat. The exhibition explored the legacy of Hofmaier’s work as well as raising money for the Ballarat Art Foundation. The Hofmaier family donated 16 works of the artist to be sold to raise funds for the foundation, to support emerging artists.

Physical description

Original painting in square format, featuring abstract swirls of blue, white, red, yellow and green/.