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Simon Hantaï

(Hungarian/French, 1922-2008)

Sans titre

oil on canvas
154 x 215 cm (60⅝ x 84⅝ in.)
signed and dated ‘Simon Hantaï 55’ (lower right)

Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris
Private collection, France (acquired from the above in 1958)

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris.

French-Hungarian Conceptual artist Simon Hantaï is best known for his abstracted canvases of saturated colour. His signature pilage technique—the application of paint to systematically folded canvas—reveals an irregular pattern of alternating patches of saturated colour and raw, unprimed canvas when stretched over a frame.

The present work was created during a seminal time in Hantaï's life. After having spent a number of years with the Surrealists, Hantaï decided to separate from the group in pursuit of something greater than automatism. Sans titre depicts the beginning of the artist's journey with Abstract Expressionism, building up layers on a canvas and scraping away at them, creating what could be called "negative painting".


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