Abandon In Place

This object is only available as a thumbnail. Why?

Martin Hoffman

American, 1935 - 2013

Abandon in Place, 1980

  • On View

Acrylic on canvas

Dimensions: 102 × 144 in. (259.1 × 365.8 cm)

Gift of the artist, 2008.39

In the 1980s Martin Hoffman was invited by NASA to document launch events at Cape Canaveral. While working there he witnessed five launches of the space shuttle and had the opportunity to examine high security sites within the Kennedy Space Center. The location depicted in Abandon In Place was the launch pad for Apollo I. In 1967 a cabin fire during a prelaunch test killed all three astronauts inside the space capsule. The tragic event that took place on this abandoned site is enshrined in history, but the spot itself is off-limits and desolate. Hoffman intended to evoke the sense of simultaneous awe and melancholy that he felt while exploring the launch pad. Although he rejected the title “photorealist” Hoffman often worked from photographic references. He believed that the camera is like a pencil, merely a tool for gathering accurate details. “I could always see the world perceptually and have been able to draw realistically since childhood,” he said. “But when doing classical realism one needs the model or scene of the light there.” So photography became a tool he used to help capture the feeling of the painting.

Image Permissions

Explore Related Objects


Andy Warhol and Archie Bunker, 1975
Martin Hoffman

Acrylic on canvas
1984.22


Psyche and Techne, 1980
Martin Hoffman

Acrylic on canvas
2008.37


Autumn Landscape with Incident, 1980
Martin Hoffman

Acrylic on canvas
2008.38


Gold for Sassetta, 1980
Martin Hoffman

Acrylic on canvas
2008.40


Garden Study of the Vickers Children, 1884
John Singer Sargent

Oil on canvas
1972.47


Landscape No. 1 (The Forest), ca. 1912
Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac

Oil on canvas
1940.4


Petite Odalisque, draperie verte (Concubine, Green Drapery), 1921
Henri Émile Matisse

Oil on canvas
2006.62


Conflict, 1966
Adolph Gottlieb

Oil on canvas
1966.23