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Hans Hartung

Leipzig, Germany 1904-1989

Hartung was born in Leipzig in Germany in 1904. He is considered not only one of the greatest post-war masters but also one of the greatest exponents of Informal Art (artistic movement of the 40s - 50s in which abstract painting is based on improvisation , materiality and gestures) and of Tachisme (a concept used to define the non-geometric abstract art that arose in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s, characterized by spontaneous brushstrokes, drops and scribble-like signs).

In 1939 he enlisted in the French Foreign Legion; during a battle in North Africa he is wounded and following the amputation of his right leg, he will be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

The paintings he creates are devoid of any figurative element; they are characterized by marks, scratches and color spots of various thicknesses made on different material supports such as canvas, paper or hardboard. Scratch, scrape, and reapply the translucent color pigment; this pictorial technique creates chromatic harmonies with an almost poetic and narrative character, in which a sense of freedom, energy and remarkable ambition are denoted, despite the artist following a meticulous scheme in the realization. At the beginning of his career he uses brushes as tools; after the leg injury he decides to use the airbrush and some tools he created including spray guns, broom and olive branches from his garden and his French laboratory.

He won the Venice Biennale in 1960 and the Grand Prix of Fine Arts in Paris ten years later.

Hartung's works are exhibited in the collections of prestigious international museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Tate Gallery, London, Center national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou, Paris and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.


Hans Hartung

Senza titolo


pastel and tempera on paper

48,5 x 64,7 cm

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