Antonio Saura, considered one of the major Post-War painters from Spain, created a body of work that has influenced several generations of artists and is represented in some of the most important museum collections in Europe and America. His critical writings on arts and culture make him one of the most important witnesses of his time and an undisputable intellectual authority.
Antonio Saura, born in Aragon, Spain in 1930, was exposed at a very young age to the Old Spanish Masters thanks to the visits he made with his father to the Museo del Prado. In 1954, Saura travelled to Paris, where he established contact with painters from the Surrealist Movement. In 1957, back in Madrid, he developed his work towards a more expressive style influenced by the New York School and Art Informel. In 1967 he settled definitely in Paris where he lived and worked for the rest of his life, till his early death in 1998 in Cuenca, Spain.
Since his return to Spain, the Spanish Masters – especially Velázquez and Goya – always remained a source of inspiration, and he developed an own, characteristic style recognizable by a palette of black, white and earthy colours, constrained yet expressive brushstrokes, and a recurrent range of subjects marked by his continuous re-elaboration of the classical iconography.
Antonio Saura had numerous major exhibitions during his life. One of his first institutional solo exhibitions was held 1956 at the Spanish National Library in Madrid, followed by retrospectives at the van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels, the Museums of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires in 1963; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London in 1966, and the Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona in 1980. In 1989, The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Geneva, and the Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, in 1990, organised the last retrospectives of Saura’s work while alive.
In 2003, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presented “Antonio Saura: Memory and Recollection,” and in 2012 the Kunstmuseum Bern dedicated a retrospective to Saura’s œuvre.
Antonio Saura’s work is part of important public collections, such as the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), the Neue Nationalgalerie (Berlin), the Tate Modern (London), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao and New York), and The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York).