A French artist of Hungarian origin, Simon Hantaï (1922-2008), came to Paris in 1948 and completed his whole body of work there. His talent was recognised as early as 1953 by André Breton, who dedicated his first personal Parisian exhibition to him at the Surrealist gallery “A l’Etoile scellée”. Hantaï produced a body of work that was both innovative and abundant, earning him first prize from the Fondation Maeght in 1967 and the National Plastic Arts Grand Prize in 1980. Moreover, he represented France at the 40th Venice Biennale in 1982. Hantaï created 139 works that are now in public French collections, as well as some 50 works that are in public collections around the world.
It was in France—in Paris, where he settled in 1948, and in Meun, between 1966 and 1979— that this painter born in Biatorbágy produced the bulk of his work. After his first solo exhibition under the aegis of André Breton in 1953 at the À L’Étoile scellée gallery, he continued to work in a style marked by the singularity of the pictorial methods he used—in particular, folding, which was a kind of artistic manifesto.