Hans Hartung - T1989-U27
Acrylic on canvas. 130 x 162 cm. Framed. Signed, dated and titled 'T 1989 - U27 HARTUNG 24.8.89' verso on stretcher and with dimensions. - Traces of studio.
In the 1970s Hans Hartung retreated to his residence in Antibes on the Côte d'Azur and began a series in which he experimented with color and various painting techniques. The painting presented here is one of the last works of this master of abstract expressionism, completed shortly before his death in December 1989. He used a spray technique, characteristic for his later work, which allowed the artist to apply color to the canvas without much effort, but still giving a powerful result. Colour canisters were filled and attached to a pipe and a spray attachment. The paint application was determined by the pressure on the canister, the choice of nozzle and distance from the canvas. The present work clearly shows that with this method the colors mix once on the canvas, and that single colour layers of various intensity lie on top of each other.
''Once again in the few hours and days of his gathered strength, Hartung paints a considerable number of pictures at large intervals - including the largest format he had ever mastered. They emerge at great speed, and with youthful boldness and visionary strength he gives himself over completely to chance. As a resolution they are disciplined - felt quite involuntarily - simply by his lifelong cultivated, highly accurate sense of form. The ultimate chaos of creation is reflected in particular in its comprehensive disorder and amorphousness, in which a final order is revealed. (Jörn Merkert, Letzte Bilder, Neuanfang, in: Hans Hartung, Gesten, Flecken, Lineaturen, Arbeiten auf Papier von 1922 bis 1985 und sechs letzte Bilder, exhib.cat. Kunstforum Berlin 1999, p.89).
This work is registered at Foundation Hartung Bergman, Antibes, and will be included in the forthcoming Hans Hartung catalogue raisonné prepared by the Foundation Hans and Eva Bergman, Antibes.