Julius Hatofsky Biography

Julius Hatofsky



Julius Hatofsky, painter and teacher, was born on 1 April 1922 in Ellenville, New York and grew up in the historic Astoria neighborhood in Queens, New York. His father died when he was a child leaving his mother to raise the family alone. Hatofsky graduated from high school and declined a college scholarship in order to support his mother. He worked odds jobs on the docks as well as selling men’s socks at Saks. At the age of twenty, Hatofsky enlisted in the U.S. Army to fight in World War II. He was promoted to sergeant and became part of the 82nd Airbone Division, landing by glider behind enemy lines in the invasion of Normandy.

After the war, Hatofsky was eligible for the G.I. Bill and he returned to New York to study at the Art Students League, remaining there between 1946 and 1950. He attended school during the day and worked nights as a security guard at the Whitney Museum. Hatofsky then studied in Paris at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière between 1950 and 1951, and in 1952, he returned home to study at the Hans Hoffmann School of Fine Arts. He continued to paint and exhibit in New York during the 1950s but moved to San Francisco in 1961 to teach at the San Francisco Art Institute (formerly the California School of Fine Arts). He taught painting and drawing until 1995.

For decades, he maintained a 5,600-square-foot rental loft in the South of Market district of San Francisco that became noted for standing-room-only parties. He lost his loft due the dot-com boom of the 1990s and moved to Vallejo, California.

Hatofsky was immensely talented but he eschewed self-promotion. Susan Hillhouse, chief curator of the Triton Museum of Art in Santa Clara, stated: “Had he sought publicity, he would have been one of the canons of the art world, the kind you see in art history books. He was more interested in art-making than art-marketing.” He was awarded grants from the National Endowment of the Arts in 1967 and 1977, the Francis J. Greenburger Foundation in 1986, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 1999, and the Peter and Madelin Martin Foundation in 2005. He had a least twenty-two solo exhibitions and was included in numerous group exhibitions.

Hatofsky’s work is represented in the permanent collections of the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; the Benicia Library, California; the Kalamazoo Museum of Art, Michigan; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California; and the Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah.

Julius Hatofsky died in January of 2006 in Vallejo, California.

Selected solo exhibitions:
1958: Avant-Garde Gallery, New York, NY
1959: Holland Goldowsky Gallery, Chicago, IL
1961, '63: Charles Egan Gallery, New York City
1965, '66: Marylhurst College, Portland, OR
1967: Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS
1968: Emmanuel Walter Collection, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
1974: Smith-Anderson Gallery, Palo Alto, CA
1975: Smith-Anderson Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1983, 85: Paule Anglim Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1987, 89: Pier 23 Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1988: Museum of Modern Art Rental Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1993: Monterey Museum of Art, Monterey, CA
1994–1996: D.P.Fong Galleries, San Jose, CA
2000: Painting and Drawing, Fresno Art Museum, Fresno, CA
2003: Drawings, Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel, CA
2005: Painting and Drawing, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
2008: Paintings, The Bank of America, San Francisco, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions:
1994-1996 “Still Working” traveling show, United States:
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, IL; The New School for Social Research, NY; Virginia Beach Center for the Arts, Virginia Beach, VA; Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
1987: Jack Gallery, New York, New York; Mira Godard Gallery, Toronto, Gallery
1979: Smith-Anderson Gallery, Palo Alto, California
1978: Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas, Missouri
1977: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California
1968: University of Texas, Austin, Texas
1959: Whitney Museum Annual, New York, New York
1958: Newark Museum Biennial, Newark, New Jersey