Antonio Saura (September 22, 1930, Huesca, Aragon - July 22, 1998, Cuenca) was one of the greatest Spanish artists of the last 50 years.
Antonio Saura lived with his family in Madrid, Valencia, and Barcelona. From an early age he accompanied his father on visits to the Prado Museum where he was deeply impressed by the Cristo crucificado (1632) by Diego Velázquez and the Perro semihundido (1821-23) by Francisco de Goya, which would have a strong influence on the themes of his future work. Self-taught, he began to paint and write in 1947 while convalescing from a long illness. Between 1948 and 1950 he created the series Constellations (Constelaciones) in which there is a clear influence of the paintings of Miró of the 1930s and 1940s, as well as the artistic conception of Surrealism, around the figure of André Breton. Between 1953 and 1955, he lived in Paris where, initially, he took part in the activities of the surrealist group led by Breton, and later on he become acquainted with French Informalism (the so-called Art Autre), and American painting.
In 1957, Saura founded the El Paso group in Madrid which he led until it broke up in 1960. The group's manifesto expressed the wish to create a new pictorial language within the context of the European Avant-Garde movements of that time. Those years saw the development of Spanish Informalism, in which the El Paso group and virtually all the artists of the Catalonian group Dau al Set (of which Antoni Tŕpies was a leading member) took part. In the late 50s and early sixties Saura worked with Antoni Tŕpies, Enrique Tábara, and Manolo Millares among many other Spanish Informalists.
Antonio Saura took part of the "Biennial" in Venice in 1958 and in the "Documenta" in Kassel in 1960. In the same years, he won the Guggenheim Award in New York. Actually, since the end of the 50s, it is almost impossible to imagine an international art market without his portraits, which find themselves between abstraction and figuration.
Antonio Saura was known world-wide for his dark thick layered oils and his works are on display in many of the worlds most prestigious museums. The outstanding theme of Saura's creations are the portraits, and from them, the ladies. Graphical works by Antonio Saura are less known. These works are a composition of many figures in an irregular composition. Antonio Saura died in 1998 in Cuenca, Spain.