Hans Hartung 1904-1989

Biography

Hans Hartung was born in 1904 in Germany. He studied at the School of Fine Arts in Munich and, in 1935, settled in Paris where he got acquainted with Kandinsky, Mondrian, Miro and Calder, exhibiting his art along theirs.

In 1944, he fought in the foreign legion, was wounded and amputated from his right leg. In 1945, he was naturalised French. During his first period, Hans Hartung painted watercolours and abstract paintings. After the war, he translated his nightmares and suffering into abstract paintings. He covered the canvas of hatchings and whirlwinds, drew with India ink, oil or pastel. He thought that only an informal painting, a "stain-ism" could tell the despair of the post-war years.

From 1960 onwards, he worked on large formats with acrylic which were alternately struck by fast scratched touches. He also used objects such as branches, broom and combs to stigmatise his paint. Nowadays, Hartung is considered as the leader of "Lyric Abstraction" and as one of the major representatives of abstract art.

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