Hans Hartung, PM1970-2

ink on baryte cardboard

53.3 × 42.5 cm / 21 × 16 3/4 in

Signed and dated and also titled, dated »le 5/8/70« and inscribed »Couverture extérieure« and »PHoTH107« on the verso

The work has been registered for the catalogue raisonné currently being prepared by Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman Foundation, Antibes and is registered in the estate’s archive

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Galeria René Metras, Barcelona (1987); Private Collection Spain

  • Galerie Ludorff, Neuerwerbungen Frühjahr 2021, Düsseldorf 2021
  • Galerie Ludorff, "Neuerwerbungen Frühjahr 2021", Düsseldorf 2021, S. 72

For the artist Hans Heinrich Ernst Hartung, who was born in Leipzig in 1904 and later lived in France, the line in different variations was of elementary importance. He himself said: A simple line - fierce, effervescent, bristling, bursting or calmly regular, even - translates what we feel. It corresponds with our life (...). 1

This apt quote can be perfectly applied to our work "PM1970-2". The mostly untitled works (catalogued by the Fondation Hartung) do not allow any associations and are deliberately not intended to steer the viewer in any particular direction. Two broad strokes of deep black paint are applied with a thick brush in such a way that one can clearly see where the strokes overlap. Hartung paints here with ink on baryta board. It is ideal for his fast, gestural painting. Preliminary drawings for many of Hartung's works were found in his studio after his death. The apparent improvisation is therefore based on a deliberate perfection. However, this contradicts the gestural, expressive painting that Hartung is usually associated with in the true sense of the word. For it is precisely spontaneity that characterises it. However, his joy in experimenting with tools and materials is unmistakable. The artist himself commented in 1989: Giving the impression of unprepared improvisation and yet striving for convincing perfection. That is the real problem of technique. 2

1 Hans Hartung, quoted from: Von der Heydt-Museum (ed.), "Alternatives. Painting around 1945-1950", Wuppertal 1973, p. 27.

2 Cf. Galerie Fahnemann, "Hans Hartung. Fait le 29.7.1989", Berlin 2012, p. 2

About Hans Hartung

The German-French painter Hans Hartung is one of the leading representatives of the so-called École de Paris, whose informal pictorial language was a typical characteristic of painting in the 1940s and 50s.

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