Antonio Saura (1930-1998)
Antonio Saura (1930-1998)
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Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more Works from the Suñol Soler Collection to Benefit the Fundació Glòria Soler and the Fundació Suñol
Antonio Saura (1930-1998)

Sera

Details
Antonio Saura (1930-1998)
Sera
signed and dated 'SAURA 61' (upper left); titled 'SERA' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
61 1/8 x 51 1/8 in. (163 x 130 cm.)
Painted in 1961.
Provenance
Galerie van de Loo, Munich
Galería René Metras, Barcelona
Josep Suñol Soler Collection, Barcelona, 1975
By descent from the above to the present owner
Literature
El Paso. XVII Aniversario: Canogar, Millares, Chirino, Rivera, Feito, Saura, Viola, exh. cat., Barcelona, Galería René Metras, 1974.
Fundació Josep Suñol, Col·lecció Josep Suñol Catàleg raonat, Barcelona, 2004, p. 105, no. 700 (illustrated in color).
Fundació Josep Suñol, Col·lecció Josep Suñol Les Escales, Barcelona, 2004, pp. 121 and 164 (illustrated in color).
Exhibited
Munich, Galerie van de Loo, Antonio Saura: Ölbilder 24, November 1961-January 1962.
Barcelona, Fundació Suñol, Col·lecció Josep Suñol 1915-1995, May 2007-January 2008.
Barcelona, Fundació Suñol, Col·lecció Josep Suñol 5è Aniversari, September 2012-March 2013.
Barcelona, Fundació Suñol, In Three Acts: Known Masterpieces, January-April 2020.
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Post lot text
This work will be included in the forthcoming Antonio Saura Catalogue Raisonné des Peintures, currently being prepared by the Antonio Saura Foundation Archives and is registered under DAMP@SERA.1961.

Lot Essay

Whirling with expressive energy, Sera is an unmistakable portrait by Antonio Saura. Against a slate-grey backdrop, diaphanous black and white strokes dance, tumble and weave together, marrying the calligraphic force of Art Informel to the memory of a human figure. Born in Huesca, Spain in 1930, as a teenager Saura spent five years confined to his bed with tuberculosis; during this time, he reflected endlessly on a childhood visit to the Museo del Prado in Madrid, where he had seen the masterpieces of Francisco de Goya and Diego Velázquez. He began making art as he recovered, experimenting with lithography, prose and poetry. After a short period in Paris creating Surrealist-inspired works, in 1957 Saura settled in Madrid, where he developed the mature style recognizable in Sera: frenetic, monochrome compositions that blend gestural abstraction with the figural themes of the Spanish masters. Indeed, in Saura’s billowing brushwork hang hints at a muscular profile, and perhaps even flashes of the silks and velvets that shimmer through the Golden Age portraits of Velázquez.

Much as Picasso continually revisited Las Meninas as a painterly touchstone, Saura worked in constant dialogue with Velázquez’s imagery. In tandem with his interest in history, however, he was committed to advancing the avant-gardes of his day: in 1957, he founded the group El Paso, which promoted Art Informel and Action Painting from both sides of the Atlantic, and saw him become one of the earliest Spanish champions of Jackson Pollock. Saura’s collision of these past and present models of painting was a profoundly political act in Francoist Spain, which held up the country’s grand artistic tradition in opposition to modern developments in abstract art. In works like Sera, he sought to free the Spanish Old Masters from this cultural tyranny, denaturing the distinction between abstract and figurative to forge what he saw as totalizing expressions of the human condition. With its chiaroscuro flurries of form, Sera refuses either to take shape or to disintegrate, defying the viewer to imagine something new.

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