(b. 1922 in Bia, Hungary, died 2008 in Paris, France)

“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.” Andre Breton, 1953

Born in Hungary, Simon Hantaï moved to France in 1949 and quickly became known throughout Europe for his large, abstract canvasses of profound, saturated color.  Motivated by Jackson Pollock’s gestural abstractions, Hantaï strove to produce a new method of painting that would redefine the role of the artist and restructure the picture plane.  In the early 1960’s, he 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 art-making life, Hantaï devoted himself to developing new techniques that slowed down or automated the painterly gesture—an idea resonant with Surrealism, Pollock’s expressionism, or Matisse’s cut-outs. In 1976, the Centre Georges Pompidou mounted a survey exhibition of his work, and in 1982 he represented France in the 1982 Venice Biennale.  His work is included in the permanent collections of the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Musée National d'Art Moderne and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  In 2013, the Centre Georges Pompidou held a major retrospective of his work.

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2014        Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest

                Villa Medici, Rome

2013        Centre Pompidou, Paris

                Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

2010        Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York

2005        "Simon Hantaï - François Rouan, Conversation," Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris

2001        "Les Fables du Lieu," curated by Georges Didi-HubeRman, Le Fresnoy in                               Tourcoing

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Simon  Hantaï