A Great 20th-century Painter
Antonio Saura. The Retrospective
Antonio Saura (1930-1998) counts as one of the key artists of the 20th century and is one of the leading champions of Spanish painting in his times. We find his work presented in most prominent collections of modern art all over the world.
Self-educated, Saura began his artistic career in 1947 under the influence of Yves Tanguy and Joan Miró. In search of a “true landscape of the unconscious,” he started producing his first surrealist works from 1950 onwards. Subsequently he stayed in Paris for quite a while (1954-1955). Since 1956 he began to develop an extremely individual style that is distinct on account of its expressive structure and strongly gestural character in the thematic series Damen 7 (Ladies 7) and Selbstbildnisse (Portraits). In his comprehensive oeuvre Saura repeatedly reveals his preoccupation with artists such as Diego Vélasquez, Francisco de Goya, and Pablo Picasso.
The exhibition focuses on all phases of the artist’s creative development, represents his large series of pictures through key works, and, not least, explores facets of his illustrative and graphic oeuvre. Additionally, also sculptures by the artist will be on show. It is an ambitious project, concerning the first large-scale retrospective since the landmark 1979 exhibition organized by Ad Petersen in the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum while Saura was still alive.
Today, thirteen years after the artist's decease, our view of Saura's work has changed as research increases our depth of knowledge about this artist. The richly illustrated catalogue that will be published for the exhibition intends to address Saura's contribution to art, and the various chapters will comprise introductions to the artist’s different creative phases and to individual pictorial series, as well as contain corresponding comprehensive reference material. For the exhibition, the archives antonio saura publication antonio saura par lui-même will be published in German translation. In this work the artist as writer elucidates his art.