Hans Hartung Biography

This poster was designed by the artist Hans Hartung (1904 - 1989)
He was born in Leipzig, Germany on September 21, 1904. His family moved to Basle, Switzerland in 1912, and returned to Germany in 1915 after the start of World War I. As a child he was interested in astronomy and photography. As a university student in the 1920's he studied philosophy and art history while he pursued his interest in art. In 1926 he moved to Paris, met a Norwegian artist, Anna-Eva Bergman, and married her in 1929. Fleeing the growing power of the Nazi regime in Germany, they moved to Paris in 1935. In 1938 his wife became seriously ill and they divorced - he stayed in France and she returned to Norway. In 1939 he married Roberta González, joined the French military and was called by the French Foreign Legion to serve in north Africa. France surrendered and he was released from the military. He and his second wife went live in Southwestern France, which was unoccupied by the Germans. But in 1943 the Germans occupied the south and he fled to Spain where he was arrested, imprisoned, placed in a concentration camp and then released. He re-joined the Foreign Legion in North Africa where he fought until his regiment, decimated in battle, fled back to France. He was seriously wounded in battle on the Alsatian front and his right leg was amputated. In 1946 he became a French citizen. In 1956 he divorced his second wife, Roberta González, and in 1947 re-married his original first wife, Anna-Eva Bergman. In 1972-73 the couple moved to their new home in Antibes, near Nice on the French Riviera. A prolific artist -- Hartung's many works are found in numerous museums worldwide. He had many exhibitions and won numerous awards. He died on December 7, 1989 in Antibes, France. He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Mediterranean.

In 1976, Hartung also published a book of his memoirs entitled “Autoportrait”, and became a member of the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1981. He continued to create art nearly up until his death in 1989.