Grito n.º 7 (Shout No. 7)

Antonio Saura

Huesca, Spain, 1930 - Cuenca, Spain, 1998
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    250 x 200 cm
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Observations: 
    Entry date: 1988 (from the redistribution of the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo [MEAC] collection)
  • Register number: 

Antonio Saura’s Informalist language was already on display in his 1956 solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Madrid. In that decade, Saura began producing work based on motifs limited to human morphological aspects, working on them obsessively in various series of works, including the so-called Ladies, Heads and Crucifixions. His gestural painting, rooted in Surrealist methods, offers a profound reflection on the very uniqueness of the Spanish perspective which culminates in the Spanish Civil War, the historical context which marks the artist’s work. Violence, a Grito (Shout), as this work is titled, and rebelliousness in condemning the situation in Spain through images which belong to the iconography of past masters, such as those inspired by Velázquez’s Crucifixión (Crucifixion), are both reproduced in his work through Expressionist pictorial expression. In many of his paintings from this period, Saura places the tube directly on the canvas or applies the paint with spatulas or other tools. He uses a limited range of colours, primarily blacks and whites, or in the artist’s own words, “light and shadows”. Saura approaches tradition from the position of the Avant-garde, using Spanish Expressionism in the light of a new age. The importance of the painter’s spontaneous expression, the opening up of the picture space and the new use of pigments dripped and splashed on the canvas are the hallmarks of the artist’s new critical relationship with the depiction of reality, a concept which was the basis of the new Informalist painting.