Department of Art after 1800
|Medium, technique||oil on canvas|
image: 48.5 × 37 cm
|Collection||Department of Art after 1800|
|On view||Museum of Fine Arts, Ground Floor, Michelangelo Hall|
In summer 2016, the heirs of Simon Hantaï fulfilled the artist’s spoken wish for eight of his paintings to join the Department of Art after 1800 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest. The paintings spanned the period between the early 1950s and the mid-1990s. Hantaï had chosen the works himself, in order to ensure that audiences in Hungary would have access to a representative selection of his trademark pliage technique. The museum had already purchased one of Hantaï’s paintings from a Parisian art dealer, an early masterpiece produced between 1951 and 1953, when the artist was still closely linked to surrealism.
Hantaï soon distanced himself from exponents of the surrealist movement. In 1966 he moved to Meun, a small village near the Fontainebleau forest. His creative solitude was surrounded by the vibrant life of his large family, coupled with the almost constant sound of music. The paintings he made in 1967 are distinguished by a restrained use of pigment, a tendency for the patches of paint not to stand out from the surface of the canvas, and greater purity in form and colour. During this period, Hantaï was clearly influenced by the paper cut-outs (papiers découpés) of Henri Matisse.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.