Sale: 545 / Evening Sale, Dec. 08. 2023 in Munich Lot 3


Hans Hartung
T1947-32, 1946/47.
Oil on canvas
€ 200,000 - 300,000

$ 210,000 - 315,000

T1947-32. 1946/47.
Oil on canvas.
73 x 92 cm (28.7 x 36.2 in). [JS].

• Rare early composition: Works from the 1940s are extremely rare on the international auction market.
• Perfect illusion of spontaneity: groundbreaking for Hartung and European Informalism.
• Radically modern aesthetics: Fascinating balance between linear dynamics and bright color surfaces.
• Extraordinary composition: "T1974-32" stages weightlessness with a fascinating lightness and elegance.
• A comparable painting from 1948 is at the Museum of Modern Art, New York

The work is registered in the archive of the Fondation Hans Hartung et Anna-Eva Bergman, Antibes and will be included into the forthcoming catalogue raisonné.

PROVENANCE: Galerie Pels-Leusden, Berlin.
Private collection Southern Germany (acquired from the above in 1981).

EXHIBITION: Hans Hartung, Württembergische Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart / Haus Am Waldsee Berlin /Kunsthalle Hamburg / Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg 1957.
Hans Hartung, Kestner Gesellschaft, Hanover 1957 (with the label on the stretcher).
Hans Hartung. Gemälde, Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Galerie Pels-Leusden, April 11 - May 16, 1981.

LITERATURE: Cf. Werner Schmalenbach, Hans Hartung, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover 1957.

"My drawings are a little different than the previous ones, and I try with all my might to make paintings in the same spirit, but it is not easy [..]."

Hans Hartung

Called up: December 8, 2023 - ca. 17.04 h +/- 20 min.

Hans Hartung was one of the few German artists of his generation who, after only a few figurative attempts, were consistently committed to abstraction from the start on. A lecture by Wassily Kandinsky, which the Leipzig-born artist heard during his student days in 1925, would be a key experience. Hartung began to pursue a path of abstraction in the early 1930s, and his painting eventually made him one of the main protagonists of European Informalism. Our early abstract composition impresses with its progressive, flat-gestural imagery and the element of superimposition, both stylistic devices that would have decisive influence on Hartung's further painterly oeuvre.

The present composition appears to be placed on the canvas in a playful and light manner, with an almost dance-like gesture. The lines and shapes on a light background have a highly dynamic expression and at the same time a dreamy, otherworldly character. Hartung brought the fine, swirling lines and the confidently placed color areas from bright green-yellow to earthy brown into a fascinating harmony and balance. The staged weightlessness is reminiscent of the famous mobiles by Alexander Calder, whom Hartung met as part of the Paris avant-garde at the end of the 1930s. Hartung realized a fascinating lightness and transparency in our composition "T1974-32", it allows for a seemingly endless view of distant celestial spheres into which we sink our gaze in order to completely surrender to the dancing forms. In the present composition, Hartung also masterfully succeeded in transferring the dynamics of his drawings into painting.

Those familiar with Hartung's working methods in the 1940s, will be even more fascinated by the masterfully perfected illusion of spontaneity. Until 1960, Hartung's compositions were based on precisely prepared drawings that he in some cases transferred to large format using quadrature. Hartung was concerned with preserving the expression of his handwriting and the immediate creative energy of the drawing. In the work offered here, Hartung actually comes quite close to his artistic goal, as it celebrates the gestural energy of the line, a characteristic property of European Informalism in the following years. The art movement was based on free gesture as a direct expression of the subconscious, which finds expression on the canvas in the tradition of the surrealist "écriture automatique". "T1947-32" is an outstanding early example of Hartung's transformation of free graphic gesture into painting, making it a seminal work for his oeuvre and European Informalism.

In the 1970s, Hartung's oeuvre was honored in Germany with a grand retrospective at the Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne, and in the USA with a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, New York in 1975. Today Hartung's paintings are in many international museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate Gallery, London. [JS]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Hans Hartung "T1947-32"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.