The Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts is celebrating the life and work of Hans Hartung with a comprehensive retrospective: under the title “Spontaneous Calculation”, artworks by this important proponent of abstract art are being presented in his home city for the first time. The exhibition, which runs from November 4, 2007, to February 10, 2008, is being supported by the Deutsche Bank Foundation.
Hans Hartung, who was born in 1904 in Leipzig and died in 1989 in Antibes on the Côte d’Azure, is regarded as one of the symbolic figures of the German-French rapprochement and reconciliation. The exhibition “Spontaneous Calculation” thus also marks the cooperation between the Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig and the Hans Hartung and Anna-Eva Bergmann Foundation in Antibes. This comprehensive exhibition provides a representative overview of his artwork spanning more than six decades and comprises around 50 paintings, 60 drawings, the only surviving sculpture preserved, as well as 50 photographs from among Hartung’s œuvre, which have received little public attention to date.
Hardly any other German artist is as representative of the idea of “abstraction as a universal language,” a significant cross-cultural phenomenon developed in the 1950s. Hartung referred to abstract art as “another human language even more direct than early painting.” The artist was inspired not only by the Classical Modern, whose proponents he had met in Paris in the 1930s, but also by Chinese ink painting, which is reflected in the calligraphic lightness of his works. As one of the leaders of the Art Informel movement, Hartung had a significant influence on post-war German art.
This cross-border perspective decisively influenced both his work and his life. It is not without reason that the Deutsche Bank Collection contains important works by Hartung, on display in bank branches around the world. The Deutsche Bank Foundation’s support of this exhibition is part of a series of sponsorship activities for international projects such as the Deutsche Pavilion with works by Isa Genzken at the Venice Biennale and the award-winning Brice Marden exhibition in Berlin. The relationship between the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts and the bank was initiated in 1995 with the presentation of a large exhibition from its corporate collection.
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For more than 25 years, Deutsche Bank has been committed to promoting contemporary art. Under the motto “Art at Work”, the bank systematically acquires contemporary international art and displays it in bank buildings and exhibitions around the globe. With more than 53,000 works of art, the Deutsche Bank Collection is considered the world’s largest and most important corporate collection.
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