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2024 Summer Fine Art & Antiques (Day 1)

Sat, Jul 6, 2024 09:00AM EDT
Lot 346

Antonio Saura O/C Self Portrait, 1962

Estimate: $32,000 - $36,000

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Antonio Saura (Spain, 1930-1998) oil on canvas Surrealist-, Abstract Expressionist-, and Art Informel-inspired self-portrait in black, gray, white, and brown rendered in thick, gestural brushstrokes, 1962. Signed and dated "Saura 62," upper left. Unframed. Canvas: 23 3/4" H x 28 3/4" W. Note: Photocopies of relevant pages from a 1980 institutional publication with provenance history are included in the image sequence. 


Exhibition history (according to 1980 institutional publication): Second Williams College Alumni Loan Exhibition, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, April 1976, and Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA, May-June 1976, cat. no. 79. 

Biographical note: Antonio Saura was born in Huesca, Spain. Initially he experimented with diverse mediums including paint, lithography, engraving, prose, and poetry. In 1954, Saura moved to Paris, where he met Benjamin Perret and other Surrealists. His work of this period used biomorphic forms and recalled paintings by Joan Miro. Settling in Madrid in 1957, he began to paint in a more severe style with subject matter confined to repeatable motifs, such as the female body and portraiture. Stylistically, his work drew from the expressive painters of the New York school as well as from Art Informel artists such as Jean Fautrier. In 1957 he founded the El Paso group with other artists based in Madrid. The continuous political upheaval of the 1960s left Saura with a conflicted relationship to his art. In 1965 and again in 1967, he destroyed hundreds of his paintings. In 1968, he abandoned oil painting altogether for ten years and worked in other mediums.

Later in his career, Saura designed stage sets for ballets and performances and ventured into filmmaking. Retrospectives have been held at many institutions, including the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands (1963); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (1966); and Museo de arte contemporáneo, Madrid (1982). In 2003, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presented Antonio Saura: Memory and Recollection. Saura received numerous honors and awards, including the Guggenheim International Award (1960) and the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris (1995). He was awarded the Carnegie Prize for his contribution to Documenta, Kassel, West Germany (1964). (Adapted from The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation).

PROVENANCE: Deaccessioned by a Southern institution to benefit the acquisitions fund; Acquired from Galerie Stadler, Paris, 1963. 


Canvas has been relined. With traction cracking to black paint in eyes. Area of impasto describing the lower curve of the left eye has been re-attached with damar wax resin. Could benefit from cleaning by a professional conservator. 

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Deaccessioned by a Southern institution to benefit the acquisitions fund; Acquired from Galerie Stadler, Paris, 1963.