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Antoni Tàpies

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(Huesca, 1930 - Cuenca, 1998).
Self-taught, Antonio Saura began to paint and write in Madrid in 1947. Three years later he held his first solo exhibition at the Libros de Zaragoza bookstore, showing series of experimental works (“Constelaciones” and “Rayogramas”), made during the long illness that kept him immobilized since 1943 and for a period of five years.

It will be in the “Buchholz bookstore in Madrid where, in 1952, he exhibits his dreamlike and surrealist works. That same year he visited Paris for the first time, settling in the city. There, his work was influenced by artists such as Miró or Man Ray. The break with the surrealist group allows him to make an evolution in his work, leading it towards an instantaneous painting of gestural strokes.

In 1957 he made his debut at the Stadler Gallery in Paris. The same year the El Paso group was founded, in which it is a fundamental protagonist along with Canogar, Feito, Millares, Rivera, and others. The following year he participated in the Venice Biennale in the company of Chillida and Tàpies, and in 1960 he received the Guggenheim Prize in New York.

In 1966 he exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and participated in the Biennial of Engraving "Bianco e Nero" in Lugano, obtaining the Grand Prize. In 1967 he settled in Paris, although he works and spends every summer in Cuenca. From 1968 on, he abandoned oil painting to dedicate himself exclusively to works on paper. In 1979 he won an award at the First Heidelberg Engraving Biennial. In 1981 he was appointed Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, and the following year he obtained the Gold Medal for Fine Arts.

He made an abundant serigraphic work. Known are those dedicated to kings and Goya's dog, both stamped by Abel Martín. In 1998, and after a long illness, he died in Cuenca, a city to which he had been linked since the sixties. Cuenca was the place where Antonio Saura decided to spend his last months, where several decades ago he had been able to converse with painters of his generation such as Antonio Lorenzo Carrión, Manolo Millares, Gerardo Rueda, Eusebio Sempere, Gustavo Torner or Fernando Zóbel.

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