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Hans Hartung

Tachism, Lyric Abstraction

(Leipzig, Germany, 1904 - Antibes, France, 1989)

Hans Hartung

Hans Hartung was born in Leipzig (Germany) in 1904. His parents contribute to develop in him a musical sensibility that will accompany him all his life.

In the early 1920s, Hans Hartung lives in Dresden, Germany. This is the era of the Expressionist movement Die Brücke with Ernest Ludwig Kirchner, and Erich Heckel among others. He studied in his art school with Oskar Kokoschka, and while discovering the work of Rembrandt, Goya and Greco, he works to reproduce and reinterpret. He devotes himself to painting, his works are still figurative, he is inspired by Caspar David Friedrich and also Turner.

He discovered watercolor in 1922, with the use of aniline colors, a chemical process that gives colors much more intensity than all the others used until then: "They had inspired me to do a series of watercolors. The task became liberating, it expressed by itself, by its form, by its intensity, by its rhythm, by its violence, by its volume ... "(Hans Hartung" Self-portrait "Editions Grasset Paris- 1976).

In 1928, he met Anna-Eva Bergman in Paris, a young artist of Norwegian origin; the couple get married in 1929.

The first exhibition of Hartung is organized in 1931. He leaves Germany in 1932, travels in Europe. Pursued in Germany by the Gestapo, he first took refuge and then moved to Paris in 1935. He painted watercolors and abstract paintings.

In 1944, Hans Hartung enlisted in the French Foreign Legion ; injured, he will be amputated of the right leg. In 1945, he is naturalized French. His art conveys his nightmares and his suffering in an abstract and lyrical painting. It covers its supports hatches and swirls, large dark masses drawn in India ink, oil or pastel. The artist thinks that only "tachism" can mean the despair of the horrors of war.

Hans Hartung received the grand prize of the Venice Biennale in 1960. It was during this period that he began to work in acrylic with large format works, struck with quick keys, scratched or scraped. He "stigmatizes" his painting with brooms, combs and branches.

In 1986, Hartung began a series of colorful works in which he projected drips and drops on wrapping paper. His wife, Anna-Eva Bergman disappears in 1987. Hans Hartung died in 1989 in Antibes (France). 
Hans Hartung, during his lifetime, will have received all the tributes and honors. In Antibes has opened to the public the Hartung-Bergman Foundation, museum and center of study on his work
and that of his wife Anne-Eva Bergman.

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Work(s)