Hans Hartung: Colours of Spring

Introducing the vibrant and luminous palette of Hans Hartung
“The first and most important thing is to remain free, free in each line you undertake, in your ideas and in your political action, in your moral conduct. The artist especially must remain free from all outer constraint.”

— Hans Hartung, in Hans Hartung : Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1976
 
Hans HartungT-1972-H5, 1972, acrylic on canvas, 25 5/8 x 36 1/4 in, 65 x 92 cm
 
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HANS HARTUNG

BIOGRAPHY


Hans Hartung was a French-German artist known for his lyrical abstractions and involvement in the Art Informel movement. Hartung's idiosyncratic paintings and lithographs were created with distinctive swirls, scribbles, and hatch marks, he made by scratching, erasing, and reapplying pigment.

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Sunshine, blue skies, green fields and golden daffodils... the dazzling blues, greens and yellowsof Hartung's paintings spectacularly transport us to the countryside.

Best known for his gestural abstract style, the artist was strongly inspired by the profound humanity of Rembrandt, especially by 'his ability to express with a simple line more than others with immense pictures'. Hartung drew intuitively, acting upon his canvas, similar to other abstract artists such as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. 

From clouds, beehives, and seashells, to dense astronomical configurations, each painting is unique as life, in all its diversity, seeps into the works of Hartung. Although depicted through various experimental means that the artist has invented with his brush and spray gun, Hans Hartung’s work is more firmly rooted in the history of art and the art of his time than the abstract bold lines and colour contrasts may suggest.

All aspects of daily life, from politics to literature, feature in the works of Hartung, although it might not be apparent to the eyes. “Experience reduced simply to vision allows us to know neither the object nor the world. I don’t exclude seeing, obviously, but sight is not our only mode of perception,” explained Hartung. The artist is, of course, referring to all the other kinds of sensations, decisions, and feelings that work their way onto each canvas... it is the rhythms, balances, and moods, both physical and spiritual, that ultimately control the outcome of his pictorial aesthetic.
 
Hans HartungT1971-E19, 1971, acrylic on canvas, 19 3/4 x 28 3/4 in, 50 x 73 cm
Avril 15, 2020