An Opera for Animals was first staged at Para Site in Hong Kong between 23 March and 2 June 2019, with works by over 48 artists and collectives that use opera as a metaphor for modes of contemporary, cross-disciplinary art-making. The exhibition's second iteration takes up a large portion of the Rockbund Art Museum (RAM) in Shanghai (22 June–25...
Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...
Get Up Stand Up Now: Generations of Black Creative Pioneers at Somerset House in London (12 June–15 September 2019) surveys more than half a century of black creativity in Britain and beyond across the fields of art, film, photography, music, design, fashion, and literature.Curated by Zak Ové, works by approximately 100 intergenerational black...
Curated by Matthieu Poirier
Perrotin New York - January 2018
Film by Nikolaï Saoulski © 2017
Hans Hartung was famous as a post-war Parisian abstractionist and an exponent of Art Informel and Tachisme. He was known in the mid-1950s for his spontaneous gestural paintings of rhythmical dark lines, and, later in his life—after going through several changes—delicately sprayed misty dots. Restless with their fevered energy and intricacy the success of this type of art represented a new public confidence in European non-objectivity.
In his 20s, Hartung went to the University of Leipzig to train as a philosopher and art historian. In 1926 he was excited by seeing an innovative show in Dresden presenting Cubism and several other avant-garde movements. In 1928 he decided to go to Munich to study under Max Doerner, the art theorist. He then married a Norwegian artist (Anna-Eva Bergman) and later settled in the Spanish island of Minorca. He tried to return to Germany in 1935, but the rise of Nazism forced him (as a 'degenerate artist') into exile. He and his wife went to Paris and subsequently divorced. He became known for his non-representational abstraction and became a regular presenter in the Salon des Surindépendants. In 1937 he was included in a major group show at the Jeu de Paume, Paris, curated by the critic Christian Zervos. He was given the use of the sculptor Julio González's studio, and in 1939 he married Roberta, González's daughter.
During the war he served in the Foreign Legion and lost a leg in battle, winning a Croix de Guerre. With peace, he resumed painting and became a French citizen. His work, over the next ten years, became vigorously calligraphic, often characterised by the application of swathes of colour over which were energetically brushed clusters of black lines. Influences included Wassily Kandinsky, Emil Nolde and Lovis Corinth, and he became a pioneer European lyrical abstractionist. Hartung's formations of grass-like lines or scratches became a trademark.
Outside of his exhibiting accolades, Hartung won several prizes such as the 1956 award for the Europe-Africa section of the Guggenheim International Award, and the Grand International Prize for Painting at the 1960 Venice Biennale.
He had his first single-person shows at Galerie Lydia Conti (1947), Galerie Craven (1956) and Galerie de France (1956). International acclaim arrived with Younger European Painters: A Selection at New York's Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (1953–4), a retrospective at the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris (1969), and solo shows at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (1975) and the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1980). He had a stroke in 1986 but continued working from a wheelchair. He died three years later.
Perrotin is honoured to present Hans Hartung: A Constant Storm. Works from 1923 to 1989, the first exhibition of Hans Hartung at the gallery, which is now the representative of the Hartung Estate. The exhibition, featuring nearly 70 works spanning seven decades of Hartung's career, will be the most important solo presentation of the artist in New York since his solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in 1975. Thanks to exceptional loans from the Hartung Bergman Foundation and major American institutions, key works by the artist have been brought together for this survey exhibition tracing the artist's development from the first abstract works in about 1922 through 1989, the year of his passing.
Hans Hartung was a pioneer and major proponent of abstract art and modernism. Born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1904, he developed a practice of gestural painting that was both instinctive and regulated. The seemingly immediate aesthetic impact of Hartung's paintings is in fact the result of subtle layering. These strikingly vivid and immaterial clusters of colour are formed by a complex, almost alchemical process, stemming from a particular relation to the real. Each of the works by Hartung brought together for this project is a kind of oxymoron, the outcome of what the artist called the "continual correction of what is done at speed." In this artistic paradox, the tempest is constant and the deflagration always channelled. The point is to change the way we look at this singular pictorial universe made up of coloured grounds over which float various forms and graphic structures, ranging from indeterminate, amorphous "blotches" to strident, sharp-edged signs, all produced by the artist's swift gestures.
From the end of the 1940s, Hartung's paintings enjoyed great success and had many imitators in Europe, where he was recognised as a real artistic leader, and also across the Atlantic, in relation to Abstract Expressionism in New York.
Always wary of dogma and categories, Hartung never encouraged a one-way reading of his work and it remains difficult, even today, to precisely define his contribution in historical or critical terms. This is due to the deep singularity of his oeuvre but also to his own life and its traumas: a German expelled by the Nazis, he fought on the Allied side and lost a leg in battle while carrying a wounded man; he was then awarded the Croix de la Guerre and naturalised as a Frenchman. Both German and French, romantic and rational, he was attracted at once to the expressive brutality of Die Brücke and the scenographic intensity of Rembrandt, the typological rigor of Paul Klee and the formal clarity of Henri Matisse. By doggedly ploughing his own furrow, Hartung in a sense refused to choose between two simplistic visions of abstract art: on one side, eruptive and chaotic painting, based on pure intuition, combined with the expressionist, gestural, lyrical, informal and Tachiste tendencies of post-war painting; and, on the other, control, precision and systems, whose notions belong more to the realm of geometric abstraction.
Throughout his rich and productive career, Hartung was obsessed with renewing his painting, and he achieved this through some remarkable technical innovations. At the same time, he was constantly going back to the seminal artistic vocabulary that he elaborated instinctively after World War I. He thus constructed his practice in a constant back-and-forth between the physical impulses of work in the studio and the resurgences of a sensorial memory, between the transcription of the sense of nature and the conception of pure painting fundamentally liberated from any kind of imagery.
Matthieu Poirier. Extract from Hans Hartung : A Constant Storm. Works from 1923 to 1989, January 2018
Two exhibitions will be organized simultaneously at Simon Lee Gallery, London and Nahmad Contemporary, New York. A catalog will be published on this occasion. The book Hans Hartung : A Constant Storm. Works from 1923 to 1989 will be published in January 2018 by Perrotin.
'The Globe-Trotting Gallerist'Emmanuel Perrotin in conversation with Georgina AdamMonday 21 Jan 2019
Video of the exhibition 3018 by Daniel Arsham at Perrotin New York September 8–October 21, 2018. Video: Guillaume Ziccarelli © 2018
Video of the exhibition French Fries with Mayo at Perrotin Paris, September 6–September 22© Nikolaï Saoulski
Vidéo de l'exposition Parce que et Souris Calle à Perrotin Paris13 octobre-22 décembre
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