Hans Hartung and contemporary Chinese painters

11 April 2013 - 4 August 2013


Organised in partnership with the Cabinet d’arts graphiques du Musée d’art et d’histoire de Genève and private collectors, the exhibition brings together lithographs by Hans Hartung (1904–1989) and contemporary Chinese paintings. Arranged on the basis of three themes – space, calm and movement – the presentation makes no attempt to show an influence but to highlight similar approaches and interpretations. Hans Hartung was one of the most important representatives of informal art, whose conception of contemporary art was founded on spontaneity, the randomness of the physical gesture, and a desire to shift away from all tectonic form. For Hartung, prints were an ideal technique for discovering, developing and diffusing new experiences. When he was awarded the international prize for painting at the 1960 Venice Biennale, the painters of Taiwan and Hong Kong, who were often inspired by the West, took the first steps towards modernising their art.

The Chinese artists represented – Chu Ke, Fung Ming Chip, Hsiao Chin, Lee Chunyi, Lee Shi Chi, Li Huasheng, Li Huayi, Lu Shou Kwan, Liu Guo Sung, Shen Fan, Wucius Wong and Yan Yangping – are all of international renown. These painters have made the special relationship that exists between ink and paper the basis of a pictorial language that is all their own and developed several styles that have allowed them to abandon the use of the brush and experiment with other techniques. They live and work in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Western countries. Although they all originate from the same culture, they have experienced very different historic circumstances that have strongly influenced their artistic trajectory. Most are actively involved in the evolution and development of the New Ink Painting movement, which considers the future of new Chinese painting to lie in the use of its own resources and techniques.

Disregarding time and place, this exhibition reveals the universal values of the emotions transmitted by artists to culture and different forms of artistic research.

Exhibition curators: Leda Fletcher, expert in contemporary Chinese painting, Christian Rümelin, Head Curator of the Cabinet d'arts graphiques, and Monique Crick, director of the Baur Foundation, Museum of Far Eastern Art

Cahier du Contemporain by Leda Fletcher and Christian Rümelin

Scenography by Nicole Gérard