In his paintings from 1955-1959, the role of the background seemed only that of support, a way to highlight graphic signs, but the study of this sequence exposes it as the result of a very careful and subtle work. If graphic brush strokes sometimes resemble Chinese calligraphy, this dialogue with the background, with the entire surface of the painting, shows a completely different purpose, and evokes the structural simplification through which teenage Hartung used to reduce Goya or Rembrandt to tensions of forms.
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