b. 1904
- d. 1989
  • France
  • Germany
Turnover 2023
$USD 8.530.622
Record Sale
$USD 3.174.774
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In the mid-1920s, Hans Hartung began his academic journey by studying philosophy and art history at the University of Leipzig while simultaneously receiving private painting lessons. This dual pursuit provided him with a well-rounded foundation for his later artistic endeavors. In 1926, Hartung moved to Dresden to pursue formal art education at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. He studied under renowned artists like Oskar Kokoschka, absorbing diverse techniques and ideas. However, it was his move to Paris in 1931 that marked a turning point in his artistic journey.

Immersed in the vibrant Parisian art scene, Hartung encountered a multitude of avant-garde movements, which inspired him to explore new artistic directions. The outbreak of World War II interrupted Hartung’s artistic pursuits. He served in the French Foreign Legion during the conflict, an experience that would deeply influence his perspective and artistic philosophy. After the war, he returned to Paris with a transformed mindset and a desire to convey emotional intensity and energy through his art. During the 1940s, Hartung’s style evolved significantly. He embraced gestural abstraction, employing techniques that involved energetic brushstrokes, controlled drips, and unconventional tools. His works exuded a sense of spontaneity and dynamism, capturing the essence of his emotional state in each stroke. This innovative approach earned him recognition as a leading figure in the Art Informel movement, an influential European form of abstract expressionism.

Hartung’s influence continued to grow throughout the 1950s and beyond. His works were showcased in major exhibitions and institutions, including the prestigious Venice Biennale in 1956. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he continued to experiment with his artistic language, incorporating new elements and techniques that expanded the depth and complexity of his compositions. Hartung’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of artistic expression remained unwavering even in his later years. In the 1980s, he delved into computer-generated art, embracing technology to create new forms of visual exploration. His prolific career came to an end on December 7, 1989, when he passed away in Antibes, France.

Hans Hartung’s legacy endures as a testament to his innovative spirit and his profound impact on the trajectory of abstract art. His dynamic, gestural style, along with his willingness to embrace new tools and technologies, has left an indelible mark on the art world, inspiring generations of artists to push the boundaries of creativity and self-expression.


Record Sale

Hans HARTUNG (1904-1989)
T1956-13 (1956)

Lot # 2
180 x 136.5 cm
Hammer price: $ 2,654,235 (€ 2,250,000 )
Price including buyer’s premium: $ 3,174,760 (€ 2,691,250 )
Estimate: $ 589,830 – $ 825,762 (€ 500,000 – € 700,000 )
Collection Alain & Candice Fraiberger
06 dec 2017
Paris, France.

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