(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, in 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.