Bia, 1922 - 2008

Simon Hantaï

Simon Hantaï is best known for his large, abstract canvases of profound, saturated color. Hantaï moved to France in 1949 and quickly became known throughout Europe. Informed by Jackson Pollock’s gestural abstractions, Hantaï embarked on a new method of painting that would redefine the role of the artist and restructure the approach to the picture plane. In the early 1960s, Hantaï began applying paint to folded canvasses, using a systematic pliage or ‘folding method’ that resulted in irregular patterns of bold color, punctuated by strips of unprimed ground once the canvasses were unfolded and stretched. Throughout the rest of his career, Hantaï devoted himself to developing new techniques that congealed the painterly gesture—an idea that finds strong resonance with Surrealism, Pollock’s Expressionism and Matisse’s cut-outs.

In 1976, the Centre Georges...

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Biography

Simon Hantaï is best known for his large, abstract canvases of profound, saturated color. Hantaï moved to France in 1949 and quickly became known throughout Europe. Informed by Jackson Pollock’s gestural abstractions, Hantaï embarked on a new method of painting that would redefine the role of the artist and restructure the approach to the picture plane. In the early 1960s, Hantaï began applying paint to folded canvasses, using a systematic pliage or ‘folding method’ that resulted in irregular patterns of bold color, punctuated by strips of unprimed ground once the canvasses were unfolded and stretched. Throughout the rest of his career, Hantaï devoted himself to developing new techniques that congealed the painterly gesture—an idea that finds strong resonance with Surrealism, Pollock’s Expressionism and Matisse’s cut-outs.

In 1976, the Centre Georges Pompidou mounted a survey exhibition of Hantaï’s work, and in 1982 Hantaï represented France in the 40th Venice Biennale. In 2013, the Centre Georges Pompidou held a critically acclaimed retrospective of Hantaï’s work. Hantaï work is included in the permanent collections of the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

“In this distressing and all-pervading noise of cow-bells into which today's art increasingly settles— at last the sounding of a gong! In turn the hammer hits... the infallible rhythm announcing true creation; it is Simon Hantaï.” – André Breton, 1953

Artworks

Étude, 1970

Related Categories

20th Century Art / Abstract Painting / Abstraction / Art of the 1970s / Canvas / Contemporary European Art / European Art / France / Gestural Abstraction / Hungary / Inspired by Old Masters / Media Study / Oil on Canvas / Oil Paint / Oil Painting / Painting

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 1948

    School of Fine Art, Budapest, Hungary (1942-1948)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2016

    “Simon Hantaï,” Timothy Taylor, London, UK

  • 2015

    “Simon Hantaï : Blancs,” Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • “Simon Hantaï, Regard Sur Quelgues Tabulas,” Galerie Jean Fourier, Paris, France

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Elemental, Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • 1948

    School of Fine Art, Budapest, Hungary (1942-1948)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

  • 2016

    “Simon Hantaï,” Timothy Taylor, London, UK

  • 2015

    “Simon Hantaï : Blancs,” Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • “Simon Hantaï, Regard Sur Quelgues Tabulas,” Galerie Jean Fourier, Paris, France

  • “Simon Hantaï, Meuns,” Guttklein Fine Art, Paris, France

  • “Simon Hantaï: Pliage: The First Decade,” Mnuchin Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2014

    Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary

  • Villa Medici, Rome, Italy

  • 2013

    Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

  • Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • “Go Figure/Ground,” Paul Rodgers/9w, New York, NY

  • 2011

    Kalman Maklary Gallery, Budapest, Hungary

  • “Les Sujets De L’abstraction—Peinture Non-Figurative De La Seconde Ecole De Paris,” Musée Rath, Geneva, Switzerland

  • 2010

    Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • “Simon Hantai: Not For Sale,” Paul Rodgers/9w, New York, NY

  • 2007

    “La couleur toujours recommencée. Hommage à Jean Fournier, marchand à Paris (1922–2006),” Musée Fabre, Montpellier, France

  • 2005

    “Simon Hantaï - François Rouan, Conversation,” Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris, France

  • 2001

    "Les Fables Du Lieu," Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing, France

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    Elemental, Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

Collections

  • Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

  • Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.

  • Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest

  • National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY

  • Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

  • Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

  • Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

  • Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY

Publications

  • 2014

    “Simon Hantaï,” Journal of Contemporary Painting 1.2. Special Issue dedicated to Hantaï. Texts by Hubert Damisch, Georges Didi-Huberma, Jean-luc Nancy, Anna Hantaï, Daniel Buren, Éric de Chassey, Isabelle Mono-Fontaine, et al.

  • 2013

    “Simon Hantaï.” Exhibition Catalogue by Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

  • 2010

    “Pensée par la peinture: l’oeuvre de Simon Hantaï.” Text by Molly Warnock.

  • “Letter From New York," A Journal Of Poetry And Opinion. June. Text by Ben Lerner.

  • 2009

    “Ils ont regardé Matisse: Une réception abstraite États-Unis/Europe 1948-1968,” Musée Départemental Matisse, Cateau-Cambrésis. Texts by Éric de Chassey, Émilie Ovaere, and Karim Ghaddab.

  • 2007

    “La Couleur toujours recommencée: Hommage à Jean Fournier, marchand à Paris (1922-2006).” Exhibition Catalogue by Musée Fabre, Arles.

  • 2005

    “Le Tablier de Simon Hantaï.” Correspondence between Simon Hantaï and Hélène Cixous.

  • “Dossier Simon Hantaï.” Texts by Jean-Luc Nancy and Simon Hantaï.

  • “Simon Hantaï/François Rouan: Conversation.” Exhibition Catalogue by Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris.

  • “sans lasso et sans flash,” Éditions P.O.L., Paris. Text by Dominique Fourcade.

  • 2003

    “Non-Compositional Effects, or the Process of Painting in 1970,” Oxford Art Journal 26. Text by Howard Singerman.

  • 2001

    “La connaissance des textes: lecture d’un manuscrit illisible,” Éditions Galilée, Paris. Text by Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Nancy and Simon Hantaï.

  • “Fables du lieu, Le Fresnoy.” Text by Georges Didi-Huberman.

  • “As Painting: Division and Displacement.” Wexner Center for the Arts. Texts by Stephen Melville, Philip Armstrong and Laura Lisbon.

  • “Writing the Painting: Materials for a Study of Simon Hantaï’s Work 1953-1959,” Konsthistorisk Tidskrift 70. Text by Hans Gunnar Sjölin.