Antonio Saura
Spain, 1930
Spain, 1998
Antonio Saura (Huesca, 1930 – Cuenca, 1998) was an undeniable point of reference in Spanish painting for almost four decades. In 1943 he contracted skeletal tuberculosis, which left him bedridden for five years. During his long convalescence, the self-taught artist began to draw and write. In 1950 he exhibited these experimental works for the first time. Two years later, he showed a collection of dreamlike works in Madrid, and, after moving to Paris, he presented a grattage series full of abstract and gestural iconography. Along with other artists, he founded the group El Paso in 1957 and created the first pieces of his large series ‘Crucifixiones’, ‘Sudarios’ and ‘Retratos imaginarios’. During this period, he worked exclusively in black and white and created his own synthesis of Abstract Expressionism, Spanish Baroque painting and the language of Art Informel. The year 1960 marked his return to colour, and he began a very prolific period of graphic art production. He realised pieces on a monumental scale, such as Grand nu, in which he explored a subject—the human figure—that was particularly relevant throughout his career. During the sixties, he also embarked on an in-depth reinterpretation of Velázquez and Goya with several portraits in which he disfigured the faces of the subjects in an attempt to bring their underlying psychological and plastic layers to the fore. Deeply involved in the opposition movement against Franco, he abandoned oil painting for ten years (1968-1979) to focus on his writing and graphic works. The eighties were an incredibly productive period for the artist, which saw him revisiting his predominant themes and completed several stage designs and illustrated books, including Don Quixote, Kafka’s Diaries and Cela’s The Family of Pascual Duarte. His work was the focus of several international exhibitions during the nineties, receiving both public and critical acclaim.
Valentín Roma

Artworks by the artist included in the Collection Artworks by the artist included in the Collection

  • Soleá / 1956

  • Cota / 1959

  • Edith / 1961

  • Large Nude / 1960 -

  • Chessboard IV / 1990

  • Imaginary Portrait of Goya / 1984