DETAIL : COLOGNE SCHOOL Germany Virgin and Child with Saints [Triptych of the Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel) Virgin and Child with Saints (left panel)]
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Hans HARTUNG | T-1954-20
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Germany 1904 – France 1990
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T-1954-20 1954
oil on canvas
145.9 (h) x 97.5 (w) cm
signed and dated l.l., oil, "Hartung 54"
Purchased 1980
NGA 1980.3156
© Hans Hartung. Licensed by ADAGP & VISCOPY, Australia
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Hans Hartung was born in Leipzig, Germany, on 21 September 1904. He studied art history and philosophy at the Leipzig University and Academy of Fine Arts (1924) and at the Fine Arts Academy in Dresden (1925-26). Late in 1926 he left for Paris and based himself there until 1931. He held is first solo exhibition at the Galerie Henrich Kühl, Dresden, in 1931. During 1933-34 he lived on the island if Minorca and painted in an abstract calligraphic style. After a short visit to Berlin he settled in Paris in 1935 and exhibited annually at the Salon des Surindépendants until the outbreak of the Second World War. He fought with the French foreign Legion and in 1944 was seriously wounded, resulting in the amputation of one leg. In Paris after the war he exhibited regularly at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and was given his first solo exhibition in Paris at the Lydia Conti Gallery in 1947. In 1952 he received his first museum retrospective, at the Kunsthalle in Basle. During the period 1954-59 his painting was characterised by loose sheaves of freely painted strokes clustered on a light ground. In 1960 he was awarded the International Grand Prize for Painting at the Venice Biennale. After about 1961 Hartung began to finely score the surface of his paintings while they were still wet. He was awarded the Commander of the Légion d'Honneur in 1968 and the following year was given a large retrospective at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris. He was the first living European artist after the war to be given a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 1975. Hartung died in Antibes in December 1990.

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