Hans Hartung (French/German, 1904–1989) was a French artist of German birth who was internationally known for his contributions to the European Art Informel movement. In the 1920s, Hartung studied art history and philosophy first at the University of Leipzig and later at Munich under the painter Max Doerner. His earliest works are characterized by sketchy, improvisational compositions that display an underlying tension between line and color. Hartung fled Nazi Germany for Paris in the 1930s, where he met the influential artists Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Joan Miró, and Alexander Calder. He fought in World War II with the French Foreign Legion, and when he returned from the war, he became a French citizen. In the 1950s, Hartung’s work was regularly exhibited in major cities across Europe, and he participated in documentas I, II, and III in Kassel. In 1956, Hartung was awarded the Guggenheim prize, followed by the International Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale four years later. Hartung’s work took on a more sculptural quality in the 1960s as he began to scratch lines into blocks of color in his paintings. Hartung continued to paint and exhibit his work internationally until his death in 1989.

Timeline

1904
Born: in Leipzig, Germany
1925–1929
Studied at the Fine Art Academy in Dresden and Munich, Germany
1935
Moved to Paris, France
1946
Obtained French nationality
1956
member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, Berlin, Germany
1960
Received the First International prize for painting, Venice Biennal, Venice, Italy
1970
Received the Grand Prix des Beaux-Arts from the city of Paris, France
1970
Received the "Grand Prix des Arts de la ville de Paris", Paris, France
1981
Received the Prix Kokoschka, Austria
1989
Died: in Antibes, France

Exhibitions

2011
La peinture autrement, Musée Fernand Léger, Biot, France
2011
La couleur en avant, Musée d’Art Contemporain de Nice, France
2011
Regard sur l’abstraction lyrique, Musée des Beaux Arts de Carcassonne, France
2011
Hans Hartung: The Final Years 1980-1989, Timothy Taylor Gallery, London (solo)
2011
Hartung: Prints, Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva, Switzerland (solo)
2011
Boeing 70, Villa Giulia, Verbania, Italy (solo)
2011
Hartung: Prints, Musée de Vannes, France (solo)
2010–2011
Hans Hartung Prints, Museum of Prints and Drawings, National Museum of Berlin, Germany; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France; Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Genève, Geneva Switzerland. cat. Céline Chicha Casteix, Christian Rümelin and Andreas Schalhorn (solo)
2010–2011
Hans Hartung: The last paintings, Cheim & Read, New York, USA (solo)
2010
Accrochage, Galerie Boisserée, J. & W. Boisserée GmbH, Cologne, Germany
Alechinsky • Appel • Dubuffet • Hartung 'Obra gráfica', Galeria Eude, Barcelona, Spain
2009
Hans Hartung, The Ultimate Work, Caserma Cosenz, Gaeta, Italy.
cat. Davide Rampelo (solo)
2008
Hans Hartung: The Gesture and the Method, Fondation Marguerite and Aimé Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France. cat. Michel Enrici, Daniel Abadie, Jean Clair and Dora Vallier (solo)
2008
Hans Hartung, Essencial, Circulo de bellas Artes, Madrid, Spain (solo)
Kunstmuseum, St. Gallen, Switzerland
2006
Hartung X 3 / Aquarelles 1920, Musée des Beaux Arts, Angers, France (solo)
Hans Hartung: Hors Champ, les années 70, Galerie Aittouares, Paris, France (solo)
2005
Hartung en Chine, National Museum, Nankin, China (solo)
2004
Hans Hartung So beschwor ich den blitz, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany (solo)
Hans Hartung Lo spazio e il gesto, Ex-chiesa di S.Stefano, Mondovi, Italy (solo)
Hans Hartung, Conceptualisme "avant la lettre", Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, La Haye, The Netherlands (solo)
2000
Hartung, G.A.M, Turin, Italy (solo)
1999
Hans Hartung, L’esprit de la linia, Minorque, Palma, Ibiza (solo)
Hans Hartung : Gesten, Flecken, Lineaturen, Grundkreditbank eG – Köpenicker Bank, Berlin, Germany (solo)
1998
Hans Hartung, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art, Nagoya, Japan (solo)
1997
Hans Hartung, Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung, Taiwan (solo)
1996
Hans Hartung works on paper 1922-1956, Tate Gallery, Londres, UK (solo)
1989
Hans Hartung, Dernières Peintures, 1989, Le Consortium, Dijon, France (solo)
Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris, France (solo)
1983
Musée d’Antibes, Antibes, France (solo)
1982
Restrospective, Stâdtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, Germany (solo)
Restrospective, Staatsgalerie Moderner Kunst , Munich, Germany (solo)
1977
Centre Pompidou, Paris, France (solo)
1975
Hans Hartung. Paintings 1971-1975, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (solo)
1974–1975
Hans Hartung. Retrospektive 1921-1974, Gemälde, Tuschen, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany (solo)
1968
Retrospective, Musée national d’Art moderne de Paris, Paris, France (solo)
1963–1964
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (solo)
1963
Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, Belgium (solo)
1962
Hans Hartung. Cinquante oeuvres nouvelles, Galerie de France, Paris, France (solo)
1961
Hans Hartung. Oeuvres de 1920 à 1939, Galerie de France, Paris, France (solo)
1960
Galerie Van de Loo, Essen, Germany (solo)
1952
Galerie d'Art Moderne , Bale, Switzerland (solo)
1948
Galerie Lydia Conti, Paris, France (solo)
1947
Galerie Lydia Conti, Paris, France (solo)
1939
Dessins et pastels par Roberta Gonzalez et Hans Hartung, Galerie Henriette, Paris, France
1932
Blomqvist Kunsthandel, Oslo, Norway
1931
Galerie Hernich Kühl, Dresden, Germany (solo)

Public Collections

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Reina Sofía National Museum, Madrid, Spain
Tate Gallery, London, UK