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Biography of Antonio Saura

See works in the collection

b. 1930, Huesca, Spain

1943
Contracts tuberculosis and has to stay in bed for five years.
1947
Begins to paint and write.
1950
Holds his first solo exhibition, at the Libros de Zaragoza bookshop in Saragossa.
1951
Self-publishes his poetic text Programio.
1952
Saura's first exhibition in Madrid takes place at the Buchholz bookshop.
1954
Moves to Paris, where he meets the Surrealists.
1956
The Biblioteca Nacional de España in Madrid holds an anthologic exhibition on Saura's work.
1957
His first solo exhibition in Paris takes place at Galerie Stadler. Co-founds the group El Paso, along with artists Rafael Canogar, Luis Feito, and Manuel Millares, among others. 1958 Participates, together with Eduardo Chillida and Antoni Tàpies, in the XXIX Biennale di Venezia.
1959
Participates in Documenta 2 in Kassel, Germany. El Paso exhibits at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Creates his first engravings. Publishes the essay Espacio y gesto.
1960
Receives the Guggenheim International Award. Creates several sculptures. El Paso takes part in two exhibitions in New York: New Spanish Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art and Before Picasso, After Miró at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The group disbands in April.
1961
Holds his first solo exhibition in New York at Pierre Matisse Gallery.
1963
The Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, holds a retrospective exhibition of Saura's work that is also mounted at the Rotterdamsche Kunstring in Rotterdam.
1964
A retrospective of Saura's works on paper travels to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden, and Göteborgs Konsthall in Göteborg, Sweden. Takes part in Documenta 3 in Kassel, Germany. Receives the Carnegie Prize, awarded by the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, along with Eduardo Chillida and Pierre Soulages. Second solo exhibition in New York at Pierre Matisse Gallery.
1965
Destroys roughly one hundred of his works in Cuenca, Spain.
1966
Exhibits at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London.
1967
Makes his permanent home in Paris, where he exhibits at Galerie Stadler. Destroys part of his work for the second time.
1968
Exhibits at the Frankfurter Kunstkabinett in Frankfurt, Germany. Decides to stop oil painting, a decision he will uphold for ten years.
1969
The first monograph on Saura's work is published by Gustavo Gili.
1972
A group of far-right activists attacks Saura's exhibition at Galería Juana Mordó in Madrid.
1975
Exhibits at galleries in Stockholm, the Hague, Barcelona, Mexico City, and Munich.
1977
Takes part in Documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany. Publishes a book of etchings entitled Cámara ardiente.
1978
Exhibits recent graphic work at the Fondation nationale des arts graphiques et plastiques in Paris.
1979
A retrospective exhibition of Saura's work is held at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and later travels to several museums in Europe. A deliberately set fire destroys part of his archives and collection.
1981
Named Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
1982
The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Madrid organizes a traveling exhibition of Saura's work that is presented in several cities in Spain. Publishes the pamphlet Contra el Guernica. Awarded the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes by the Spanish Ministry of Culture.
1983
Designs the sets for the ballet Carmen, produced by Carlos Saura and Antonio Gades, at the Théâtre de Paris. Director José María Berzosa shoots the film version of Carmen.
1984
Begins the Auto de fe series of paintings.
1985
Has a show at Cabinet des Estampes in Geneva. Mariuccia Galfetti publishes a catalogue raisonné of Saura's graphic work.
1986
The Neue Galerie-Sammlung Ludwig in Aachen, Germany, holds a retrospective exhibition of his work.
1987
Creates the illustrations for the Círculo de Lectores edition of Don Quixote.
1988
Publishes El pintor ilustrado.
1989
The Musée d'art et d'histoire in Geneva organizes a retrospective exhibition of Saura's large-format canvases that travels to several other museums, including the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern in Valencia, Spain, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the following year.
1990
Named Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government.
1992
Presents the exhibition El perro de Goya at the Salas del Arenal in Seville and the Museo de Bellas Artes in Saragossa, Spain.
1994
A retrospective exhibition of Saura's paintings between 1948 and 1990 is held at the Museo d'Arte Moderna della Città di Lugano in Lugano, Switzerland. Saura's early work is shown at the Museo de Teruel in Teruel, Spain.
1995
Receives the Grand Prix des Arts de la Ville de Paris.
1998
Dies on July 22. The Institut Valencià d'Art Modern organizes the exhibition Antonio Saura en las colecciones valencianas.
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