An act on the canvas
Abstract Composition (Lot 19) was created by Hans Hartung in 1947, the same year of his first solo exhibition. This early work combines implied representational elements with vague layers of black and spontaneous patches of color. Hartung's processes of chance and manipulation are both evident and playfully intertwine. The dramatic result seems natural for an artist who had described his painting practice as an, “act on the canvas.”
Hartung's lines continue to gain fluidness throughout his career. Configurations of long rhythmical brushstrokes became more technically formal, and his gestural paintings, once characterized by an impulsive delivery of expression, had blossomed into a layered chiaroscuro. In Lot 20, P 1970 A.17, Hartung's later process is visible, his approach has been stripped-down, become more intentional, and gesture gives way to liquid motion.
These works are listed in the Hartung Bergman Foundation archives and will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné