Hans Hartung

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Hans Hartung, 1960. Photo by Paolo Monti (Fondo Paolo Monti, BEIC).

Hans Heinrich Ernst Hartung (born September 21, 1904 in Leipzig ; † December 8, 1989 in Antibes , France ) was a German-French painter and graphic artist .


Hans Hartung, 1955. Photo by Paolo Monti (Fondo Paolo Monti, BEIC).

From 1915 Hartung attended the humanistic grammar school in Dresden , where he graduated from high school. Even during his school days he turned to non-representational painting and made abstract pictures. In 1924 he began studying philosophy and art history at the University of Leipzig . After a formative encounter with the works of Wassily Kandinsky , in 1925 he switched to studying painting at the Leipzig College of Graphics and Book Art and the Dresden College of Fine Arts . In 1928 he continued his studies with the painter Max Doerner in Munich .

In 1929 Hartung married the Norwegian painter Anna-Eva Bergman (1909–1987). Due to pressure from his mother-in-law in Oslo (in Hartung's absence), the marriage was divorced relatively quickly. Hartung was a stateless person without a passport at the time and could not leave France to speak to Anna-Eva.

From 1932 to 1934 Hartung lived on the island of Menorca and from 1935 in Paris. In 1939 he joined the Foreign Legion . In 1944 he was seriously wounded and lost a leg, in 1946 he received French citizenship and was accepted into the Legion of Honor .

In 1952 Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman met again at a retrospective of his father-in-law (Julio González) and married a second time in 1957. This time they stayed together until their death.

After the war and after several years of painting pause, he became one of the most important representatives of Art Informel . Hans Hartung was a participant in documenta 1 (1955), documenta II (1959) and documenta III (1964) in Kassel . In 1957 he received the Rubens Prize of the city of Siegen , in 1960 he was awarded the Prize of the Venice Biennale . From 1977 Hartung was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts as the successor to Lucien Fontanarosa . In 1982 the Hartung Hall in the State Gallery of Modern Art in Munich was inaugurated. In 1984 the Hartung room was set up in the Hessian State Museum in Darmstadt .

Hartung came up with a non-representational style with graphically perceived play of black lines in front of light backgrounds, often reminiscent of Chinese ink painting .

Hartung took photos all his life in order to train his eye as a painter with the 35mm camera (Minox and Leica). In his estate at the Fondation Hans Hartung et Anna-Eva Bergmann, founded in 1994, there are 35,000 negatives that the photographer Jacques Damez first viewed. In Germany, Hartung's photography was exhibited in 2016 by the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen.



  • 1931: Dresden Gallery Art Exhibition Cool
  • 1932: Berlin Galerie Flechtheim (group exhibition)
  • 1935–38: Paris, Salon des Surindépendants.
  • 1956: Œvres récentes de Hans Hartung . Galerie de France , Paris
  • 1957: Kestnergesellschaft , Hanover and Württembergische Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Haus am Waldsee Berlin, Kunsthalle Hamburg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg, Kölnischer Kunstverein. Catalog 61 of the Kestner Society: Werner Schmalenbach, Hans Hartung .
  • 1974: Retrospective for the 70th birthday. Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne
  • 1975: Retrospective, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
  • 1984: Hans Hartung on his 80th birthday . Galerie Roswitha Haftmann Modern Art, Zurich
  • 1989: Hans Hartung on his 85th birthday . Galerie Roswitha Haftmann Modern Art, Zurich
  • 2004: Hans Hartung. Early drawings , Museum Ludwig, Cologne
  • 2007–2008: Museum of Fine Arts , Leipzig
  • 2008: Kunsthalle Kiel
  • 2010: On the Esprit of Gestures - Hans Hartung, the Informel and the consequences , Kupferstichkabinett Berlin
  • 2013: Painting - Gesture - Liberation , SETAREH, Düsseldorf
  • 2014: Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica (ING), Rome
  • 2017: In An Alternate Reality . SETAREH, Düsseldorf
  • 2017: Hans Hartung No2, SETAREH, Düsseldorf
  • 2017: Hans Hartung and Photography , Museum of Contemporary Art , Siegen
  • 2018: Hans Hartung. Painting as an experiment - works from 1962–1989. , Bonn Art Museum
  • 2018: Hans Hartung. Center Pompidou , Paris
  • 2019: La fabrique du geste . Musée d'art Moderne , Paris
  • 2019: From Gesture to Form: Postwar European and American Art from the Schulhof Collection . Peggy Guggenheim Collection , Venice

Web links


  • Jürgen Claus, "Conversation with Hans Hartung (1962)", in: Jürgen Claus, theories of contemporary painting, rowohlts deutsche enzyklopädie, vol. 182, p. 84 ff. New edition: Jürgen Claus, painting as action, Ullstein Malerialien, vol. 35 247, Frankfurt / M. 1982, p. 84 ff.
  • Jürgen Claus, "Hans Hartung", in: Love art. An autobiography in twenty-one encounters. Kerber / ZKM 2013, pp. 44–49. ISBN 978-3-86678-788-9 ;
  • Madeleine Rousseau, James Johnson Sweeney, Ottomar Domnick: Hans Hartung, Domnick-Verlag Stuttgart;
  • Alfred Werner Maurer : Hartung-Bergmann Foundation in: Architecture icons Côte d'Azur + Riviera, Philologus Verlag Basel 2007;
  • Jörn Merkert: Gestures, stains, rulings or " Oh, wait a minute ...", exhibition in the art forum in the GKB Berlin, FAB Verlag ISBN 3-927551-60-0 .
  • Pierre Daix: Hans Hartung, Paris 1985. Catalog of the Paris gallery Daniel Gervis with 77 works by Hans Hartung. ISBN 9782905360014 .


  • Hans Hartung - Painting as Fast as Lightning , Director: Romain Goupil, Arte, France 2019

Individual evidence

  1. Jacques Damez: photographe Hans Hartung. La legend d'une oeuvre . La lettre volée, Bruxelles 2003, ISBN 2-87317-221-5 , pp. 88 f .
  2. ^ Ines Rüttinger: Hans Hartung and photography . Ed .: Museum for Contemporary Art Siegen. Hirmer, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-7774-2649-5 .
  3. ^ Aschendorf: Print by Hans Hartung on Gut Altenkamp. In: New Osnabrück Newspaper. May 20, 2011, accessed October 14, 2015 .
  4. René de Solier, Quadrum 2, 1956
  5. Ludmila Vachtova . Roswitha Haftmann . P. 103
  6. Ludmila Vachtova. Roswitha Haftmann . P. 105
  7. Hans Hartung | Istituto Centrale per la Grafica. Retrieved November 20, 2019 .