The Temptations of Saint Anthony
Born in Huesca, Spain, Saura was self-taught as an artist. Between 1953 and 1955 he lived in Paris, where, influenced by late Surrealistic ideas, he developed automatist techniques. However, he quickly became disenchanted by the lack of control inherent in automatism, and, returning to Madrid, reduced his means and imagery to black and white and the human figure respectively.
With Rafael Canoger, Luis Feito and Manolo Millares he co-founded the El Paso group. In both the general approach to painting and basic subject matter, Saura has close affinities to Millares. Much of Saura’s work addresses the omnipresent nature of decay and death in the midst of life.
In contrast to the decay theme, The Temptations of Saint Anthony, a collage of pin-up photography adorned with swirls of paint, is an ebullient image, attesting to a more straightforward view of life, and bearing out Saura’s own statement that, ‘of all that is offered to my sight what moves me most is feminine beauty’ (Taillandier, 1964: n.p.). In the artist’s telling of Saint Anthony’s story, the temptation, it seems, is not to be resisted.
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection 3 volume catalogue, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997).
Title/Description: The Temptations of Saint Anthony
Artist/Maker: Antonio Saura
Born: 1963 - 1980
Object Type: Painting
Measurements: Unframed: (h. 713 x w. 999 x d. 1 mm) Framed: (h. 792 x w. 1071 x d. 38 mm)
Accession Number: 827
Historic Period: 20th century
Production Place: France
Copyright: © Succession Antonio Saura. All rights reserved / A+V Agencie de Creadores Visuales