Fondation Hartung-Bergman

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Publication of the catalogue raisonné of Hartung: paintings and drawings, 1914-1944


The first volume of the catalogue raisonné of the painted and drawn works by French artist of German descent Hans Hartung (1904-1989) is now online at hanshartung.com. It covers the 1914-1944 period and includes 2241 art pieces, in which we integrated his only sculpture. This digital edition offers, in an open and generous way, an access to a significant amount of data that has been developed by the members of the Hartung-Bergman Foundation and falls within the public service purpose of the institution. Jean-Luc Uro is in charge of the scientific and technical development of the catalogue and Thomas Schlesser is the publication director. This work is based primarily on the immense, extremely well-organized and well-thought documentation that Hartung himself left of his work; it also benefited from collaborations with many specialists from the entire world for over 20 years.

 



The discovery of an unknown and crucial period of Hans Hartung

This medium primarily enables to discover the least-known of Hans Hartung’s period – and yet, a crucial and fascinating one, different from the many historiographical commonplaces made by the painter. It also allows to observe the informal and automatic artistic style he used as young as 18, in 1922; to examine his figurative style as an adolescent, his experience in the post-expressionist period and the “dreadful” years of 1940-1942; to become familiar with his transfer-printing technique from the beginning of the 1930s and with the development of his unclassifiable visual vocabulary.

In short, this medium allows the readers to see a dense aesthetic journey, diverse but coherent, long before the "glorious" post-war years, and to get familiar along the way with a biography particularly marked by the tragedies of World War II (hired in the Foreign Legion, concentration camp life, and leg amputation).

An innovative type of catalogue raisonné

As a public service institution, the Foundation seeks to provide audacious and innovative media and therefore took on the initiative to develop a unique model of catalogue raisonné: displaying synthetic perceptions of artistic production; a search interface allowing numerous possibilities and easier access to bibliographic information; a reconstitution of exhibited sets (themselves exhaustively referenced); archives (published photographs by Hartung himself and displays); an intuitive interface for a very simple navigation - a linear, piece by piece layering - as well as advanced search features.

In addition to its generous and innovative aspect, choosing an online edition also allows for future and potential developments and adjustments: as such, the Foundation welcomes any additional information that could enrich the content. In particular, the discovery of lost or stolen works, information on provenance or affiliations, document references and iconographic or bibliographic sources... The catalogue raisonné is therefore likely to evolve, with an archiving of previous editions at each modification.

Ongoing and future developments

The Foundation also wishes to point out that this catalogue raisonné comes from a sophisticated database, which is being continuously enriched internally and which can only be consulted at the Foundation and by appointment, with access to a substantial amount of sources (access to all bibliographic content, for example, which cannot be offered online for legal reasons).

The first volume of this catalogue raisonné of the painted and drawn works is related to the catalogue of engravings published in 2010. There will also be links to the second volume (1945-1960) and to the third volume (1961-1989), currently being developed, which will benefit, like the previous two, from an intuitive interface adapted to their singularity.

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The Hartung-Bergman Foundation, based in Antibes, is universal legatee of the work of Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergman; it is responsible for a remarkable triple heritage - artistic, archival and architectural - and works for the dissemination of these two major figures of abstraction.

The publication of the catalogue raisonné inaugurates a particularly rich year 2016, in which Hartung will be the subject of a double exhibition on the war period in Aubagne, accompanied by a collective book by Gallimard (Beau geste – Hans Hartung, peintre et légionnaire) under the curatorship of Fabrice Hergott; an exhibition in Siegen on the 1960s and photography at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst; an international symposium at the German Centre of Art History; a scientific edition of his autobiography (Autoportrait, 1976) by Presses du réel.

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For further information on the catalogue raisonné in particular or on the Foundation in general, please contact Elsa Hougue public@fondationhartungbergman.fr/ 33 (0) 4 93 33 45 92.