Studio Sunday: Hans Hartung
Hans Hartung was a German-French abstract painter who was best known for large canvases composed of dynamic abstract lines and splatters that he painted with an airbrush tool. Hartung shared this studio space and property in Antibes, France with his wife and fellow artist Ava Bergman.
Hartung’s studio has the most natural light I’ve ever seen in a studio space. With tall ceilings and an entire glass window wall, the space affords a beautiful view of Hartung’s property – a nice meadow dotted with trees. It must be lovely and quite inspirational to be able to see the changing seasons while working on paintings throughout the year.
Paint supplies are arranged against the window on the side of the room, and both the far walls are covered in splattered paint, indicating that the artist would usually create his works on that side of the room. I wonder if that’s because the lighting is best from that angle. The space itself is vast and seems a little empty, with most of the floor space unoccupied. While it’s not as busy as many artist’s studios, there’s a rather calm and meditative energy to the room. It was probably great to be able to step back that far to look at a finished work or a painting in progress!
During the height of his career and toward the end of his life, Hartung’s Antibes studio space was staffed with numerous assistants who would mix paint and prep canvases for him during the day before the artist began his daily ritual of nocturnal painting. It was likely quite a busy place – it probably still is. Following Hartung’s death in 1989 the entire building was rebranded as the Foundation Hartung Bergman, and visitors may book guided tours of the space.