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Hans Hartung’s gestural, formally aggressive abstraction exemplifies the aesthetic and conceptual concerns of Art Informel—along with peers such as Karel Appel, Jean-Paul Riopelle, and Jean Dubuffet, Hartung rejected naturalism in favor of an expressive approach to painting. The artist’s bold, calligraphic, non-objective canvases evolved from an interest in rational, mathematical-based approaches to artmaking. He later shifted his approach, embracing materiality and spontaneity as he used fast-drying paints and novel application methods such as rakes and olive branches to create his explosive compositions. 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.

Hans Hartung