Viewing Room


Hans Hartung and Jean Paul Riopelle both achieved international recognition as seminal figures of Art Informel (the European variant of Abstract Expressionism), which arose in France during World War II. Art Informel is a French term describing a swathe of approaches to abstract painting which had in common an improvisatory methodology and a highly gestural technique. Art Informel is a term which was coined by French critic Michel Tapié in his 1952 book Un Art Autre describing highly informal procedures of painting, often gestural. Tapié saw this art as « art of another kind » because it appeared to him as a complete break of tradition.

Through this online viewing room, we proudly present a curated selection of masterworks by two pioneers of Art Informel.

Concerned with the translation of the inexpressible onto canvas, Hans Hartung's emotional abstractions eliminated all figurative elements, pursuing such freedom of gesture and spatial dynamism with a litany of non-traditional tools, including spray guns, brooms and branches. Balanced between chance and control, Hartung's oeuvre is unexpectedly pre-meditated. His late painting, much of which was made from the confines of a wheelchair, is amongst the most vigorous of his near seven-decades-long career, presenting a renewed sense of freedom, energy and ambition.

Known for his expressive works of thick impasto and chromatic intensity, Jean Paul Riopelle was a key member of the Art Informel movement. He was associated initially with the Lyrical Abstraction wing, before becoming more calligraphic in style. By the early 1950s, Riopelle developed his signature style of applying paint directly to the canvas by smearing it with a palette knife. His artistic gesture created an intriguing myriad of geometric volumes and kaleidoscopic surfaces of colour and brilliance. This improvisatory form of abstraction was closely associated with an emphasis on the spontaneous and automatic.

Jean Paul Riopelle
Untitled, 1964
Oil on canvas
73 x 116 cm - 28.7 x 45.7 in
Available
Hans Hartung
T1981-R29, 1981
Acrylic on canvas
65 x 92 cm - 25.6 x 36.2 in
Available

Hans Hartung
Untitled, 1952
Oil on canvas
50 x 65 cm - 19.7 x 25.6 in
Available
Jean Paul Riopelle
22 Décembre, 1959
Oil on canvas
130 x 195 - 51.2 x 76.8 in
Available
Jean Paul Riopelle
Untitled, 1958
Oil on canvas
114 x 146 cm - 44.9 x 57.5 in
Available
Hans Hartung
T1982-E31, 1982
Acrylic on canvas
130.5 x 81.2 cm - 51.4 x 32 in
Available
Jean Paul Riopelle
Two Shinnebock Whalers, 1960
Oil on canvas
101.6 x 114.3 cm - 40 x 45 in
Sold

Jean Paul Riopelle
Untitled, 1964
Oil on canvas
162 x 130.5 cm - 63.8 x 51.4 in
Available
Hans Hartung
T1989-L16, 1989
Oil on canvas
180 x 142 cm - 70.9 x 55.9 in
Available

Hans Hartung
Sans Titre ( n°HH5433), 1952
Pastel on paper laid on canvas
49 x 72 cm - 19.3 x 28.3 in
Available
Hans Hartung
T1960-7, 1960
Pastel and acrylic on canvas
40 x 105 cm - 15.7 x 41.3 in
Available
Jean Paul Riopelle
St. Paul, 1966
Oil on canvas
97 x 146 cm - 38.2 x 57.5 in
Available