Ars Cameralis Silesiae Superioris

Antonio Saura. In the Rhythm of Gesture and Imagination

26.02 — 17.04.2010 | BWA Contemporary Art Gallery

The exhibition presented artist’s graphics, made at Atelier Clot, Bramsen & Georges in 1977—1997. 

World presented by Saura is full of prostitutes, scenes of crucifixion and shrouds (Saura joked that Shroud of Turin was the first ever graphic). His portraits of famous personalities, literary figures or even self-portraits are only alleged, allusive presentations of persons. They fell apart to hundreds of violent lines and brush strokes — a world where disaster struck.

Very often it is also a world without a centre. Its elements are combined in one rhythm which manages the composition. It seems, Saura wants to create an European version of all-over technique, where the image does not have right side, left side, the middle. The energy evenly radiates from the whole surface of the work. 

This and many other aspects of Saura's creativeness will be palpable during the exhibition at BWA Gallery in Katowice. The gallery will present cycles of graphics — color and black-white litographs — which were created over 30 years. Among them, impressions about Kafka's Diaries and illustrations to Goya’s Dogs, text written by Saura, who was also a writer. Exhibition will be a chance to look closely to the artist not very popular in Poland, whose work must be recognized by anyone who wants to have a full spectrum of everything that happened in the European art after World War II. 

/ fragment of text by Łukasz Białkowski

About the artist

Antonio Saura (1930—1998) an autodidact, he started painting during long-term sickness in 1947. At the begining, he was interested in surrealism. In years 1953—55 the artist was living in Paris, where he met with surrealists and became friends with a painter Simon Hantai and art critic Michel Tapié, who was one of Art Informel boosters. After returning to Spain, he abandoned surrealism and inclined towards French aesthetics of „different art” and American abstract expressionism. In 1957, he founded a group El Paso. At the same time, he defined his own artistic path, based on abstract aesthetics of Art Informel. An expressive ecstatic art, externalizing subconscious impulses and revealing beauty hidden in phenomenons usually causing disgust, became his program. He gradually reduced range of colors to black, white, grey and bronze. He painted portraits and crowds, jauntily massacring versions of painted figures, which were created to allow the act of destruction. He was also a photographer and stage designer, he worked with his brother, director Carlos Saura. His works include famous cycles: Imaginary Portraits (feigned portraits of Philip II by Velázquez and Dora Maar by Picasso) and Goya’s Dogs.

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