Hans Hartung (21 September 1904 – 7 December 1989) was a German-French painter, known for his gestural abstract style. He was also a decorated World War II veteran of the Legion d’honneur.
Hans Hartung became famous for his exquisite calligraphic painting. He believed that he made a discovery and changed the face of art, because with the help of abstractions he could directly express his inner state, and not resort to the means of numerous realities. The artist said that abstraction is “a completely new means of expression, another human language, more direct than the language of previous painting.
Hartung preferred to work with liquid paint – acrylic or oil diluted with gasoline, since it was such a material that best suited his rapid pace of work and was able to capture with the greatest accuracy the slightest movement of the master’s hand, a greater or lesser degree of pressure on the brush. With the help of liquid paint, quick strokes, short strokes or long and smooth slides along the surface of the canvas were excellently obtained. Hartung believed that the process of work is itself an action. He predetermined the development of American Abstract Expressionism and European Tachism, a lyrical modification of abstract painting.
Hartung’s work has been exhibited in New York, Paris, London, Berlin, Tokyo, and Beijing and belongs in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou, the Tate, and the Museo Reina Sofía, among others. His paintings have sold for seven figures at auction.