T1980-H17 1980 Acrylic on canvas 100.3 x 81.5 cm unique
L12 1957 Print Limited edition of 100
L36 1957 Lithograph 50.4 x 32.3 cm Limited edition
L 64 1958 Lithograph 65 x 49.5 cm Limited edition
Farandole 1971 Lithograph 74 x 48.7 cm Limited edition
L 14 1974 Lithograph 104 x 75 cm Limited edition
L 17 1974 Lithograph 104.5 x 75.5 cm Limited edition
Hans Hartung (1904 – 1989) was a visionary French-German artist and one of the most important representatives of the French Abstraction Lyrique.
Born on September 21,1904 in Leipzig, Germany. Hartung's artistic talent became apparent at an early age. Inspired by a terrifying storm, Hartung developed the idea to "draw like lightning". He started to draw impulsively, tracing the zig-zag movements of the natural phenomenon. Hartung's artistic journey traversed tumultuous times, leading him to become a pioneer in both painting and graphic art.
In the 1920s, Hartung studied philosophy at Leipzig University but soon realized that his true passion lay in the realm of visual arts. He moved to Paris for the first time in 1926, immersing himself in the vibrant artistic scene of the time. It was during this period that he encountered the works of Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and other artists associated with the abstract movement, which profoundly shaped his artistic vision.
In1929 he met his first wife, the artist Anna Eva Bergmann, who was only 20 at the time. They were soon married and their first relationship lasted for nearly ten years. Bergmann, intent on pursuing her own development as an artist, separated from Hartung in 1938. They would meet again after the war in 1952, remarry and spend the rest of their lives together.
Hartung's artistic career was profoundly influenced by his experiences in World War II, where he served as a soldier. The chaos and destruction he witnessed during the war deeply impacted him, he even suffered serious injuries and lost one leg during a bomb attack. After the war, Hans Hartung found himself destitute and after a difficult time, finally his rise to the forefront of abstract painting in Paris, alongside artists like Pierre Soulages and Zao Wu-Ki began.
Hartung's early works were characterized by a dynamic interplay of color, form, and texture. However, it was his exploration of graphic art that brought him significant recognition and added a new dimension to his artistic practice.The significance of Hartung's graphic work lies in his innovative approach to mark-making and the use of unconventional materials. He experimented with various techniques, such as scratching, etching, and lithography, to create intricate and expressive compositions. The graphic works by Hartung showcased a balance between spontaneity and control, where his gestural marks and fluid lines captured a sense of energy and movement.
Hartung's graphic art served as a vital bridge between his painting and printmaking practices. His graphic compositions informed his paintings, and vice versa, creating a symbiotic relationship between the two mediums. The graphic works acted as studies, enabling him to refine his ideas and experiment with different forms and textures before translating them onto canvas.
Hartung received several international awards, including the 1956 award for the Europe-Africa section at the Guggenheim International Award and the International Grand Prize for painting at the 1960 Venice Biennale. His first major group show was organized by curator and critic Christian Zervos at the Jeu de Paume, Paris (1937). After settling permanently in Paris, he exhibited regularly at the Salon des Surindépendants (1935, 1937, 1945). His first solo show took place at Galerie Lydia Conti (1947) and was followed by other early exhibitions at Galerie de France (1956) and Galerie Craven (1956). Major international presentations include Younger European Painters: A Selection, Guggenheim Museum (1953–54); a retrospective at Musée national d'art moderne, Paris (1969); and solo exhibitions at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1975) and Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris (1980).
Hans Hartung passed away on December 7, 1989, in Antibes, France.