Hantai, Simon

Simon Hantaï was born in December 1922 in Bia, Hungary, and died in September 2008 in Paris, aged 85. After studying fine art in Budapest, he settled in Paris in 1948.

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On his arrival in Paris, Simon Hantaï was captivated by the surrealism of the École de Paris, discovering a new and inspiring artistic universe. Influenced by figures such as André Breton, he immersed himself deeply in this movement, integrating its codes while exploring other modern currents such as Lyrical Abstraction and gestural abstract art. His meeting with Jackson Pollock in 1955 marked a decisive turning point: encouraged by the American master, Hantaï developed a distinctive technique using a scraping tool to superimpose layers of black paint on colored backgrounds. This process created a gestural, almost negative aesthetic, sometimes evoking the style of Pollock himself. Also experimenting with folding and rubbing, Hantaï left behind a diverse and deeply admired body of work, marking his passage into the history of European modern art.