Belonging to one of Antonio Saura's most iconic themes alongside his Cruxifictions, Grand Cure II (Large Priest) was executed
at a turning point in the painter's artistic career. He founded the vanguard group El Paso in 1957 in the wake of violent student
demonstrations which had just taken place in Madrid, and led it until its dissolution in 1960. Although the group's purported
ambition was to develop a new pictorial language within the context of the European avant-garde, and had been likened to other
expressionist movements of its time - such as the AbEx in America and Art Informel in France - Saura's strongest influence
came from the Spanish Old Masters he so admired during his childhood. The present work's religious subject and awe-inspiring
scale testify of Saura's allegiance to tradition, whilst the gestural brushwork and spontaneous technique are resolutely modern:
"With Saura, the image is distinct, clearly stated, centered, framed. The only violence comes from the frenzy of brushstrokes
that set the proportions flying, that cut into the flesh, that bring the viscera up to the surface." (Guy Scarpetta, in Antonio Saura
(exh. cat.), Museo d'Arte Moderna della Città di Lugano, Lugano, 1994, p. 44)
© Succession Antonio Saura / www.antoniosaura.org / A+V Agencia de Creadores Visuales 2018.
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