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Hans Hartung, peintre et légionnaire

As a child fascinated with storms, he drew lightning. Throughout his life, Hans Hartung (1904-1989) nurtured a taste for broken lines and vehement forms. Did he need to prolong his childhood passions or rather was he in a rush to create a dangerous world? This work, as well as the exhibition that accompanies it at Aubagne until 28 August 2016, open the interesting question of death as a driving force. Hartung saw it up close. Indeed, as a German living in France he was placed in the stadium of Colombes in 1939. Later, to gain a sort of freedom and demonstrate his opposition to fascism, he enrolled in the Foreign Legion. Stationed at Sidi Bel-Abbès, he took part in the Landing and then lost a leg in the battles of Belfort, at the end of the war. As part of the large group of amputed artists –see Josef Sudek a little higher up-, his creation, like those of Pierre Mac Orlan, Cendrars, Ernst Jünger or even Cole Porter, cannot ignore this period as a legionnair. It is also a guiding thread in a work that spanned the whole century, from his first drawing signed in 1914 to his last work – with a pistol - in November 1989.

Hans Hartung, peintre et légionnaire, Gallimard/Fondation Hartung-Bergman, 2016, 160 p., €29.

Hans Hartung, peintre et légionnaire -

Review published in the newsletter #434 - from 9 June 2016 to 15 June 2016

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