ANTONIO SEGUÍ, Antonio SEGUÍ

25 September > 24 October 2015

2 Av. Matignon, 75008 Paris

Presentation

"To want to paint is first to want to invent an image that will upset others."
Antonio Seguí is an Argentinean painter born in Córdoba in 1934. He lives and works in France and Argentina.
After studying painting and sculpture in France and Argentina, he travelled through Europe and Latin America before organizing his first solo exhibitions in the late 1950s. In 1962, during an exhibition in Buenos Aires, the social satire presented in his works made the public react... The painter then benefited from a real "success of the scandal". His career was launched. His work was revealed in Europe on the occasion of the Paris Biennale in 1963. Exhibitions followed all over the world (Buenos Aires Museum of Modern Art, Paris Museum of Modern Art, FIAC, Venice Biennale).  Seguí moved to Paris in 1963 but continued to make frequent visits to Latin America. From 1976 to 1983, he was banned from Argentina by the military dictatorship, which he caricatured in his paintings. After a short period of matierism, Seguí, from the 1960s onwards, gave figures a central place in his work. He was at the forefront of the New Figuration (and Pop Art) and found his place among the artists who rejected the formalism of abstraction and gave a place to "the everyday". His production is made up for the most part of paintings, but also engravings and sculptures. 
As a young painter, he drew his inspiration from artists such as Giorgio de Chirico, Mario Sironi, Gutiérrez Solana and the French satirical painter Honoré Daumier. In the 60s and 70s his paintings are dark and denunciatory. He depicts representatives of the Power, the Army and the Clergy. He painted expressionist and satirical canvases that alluded to the political and sociological history of Latin America (Arrival of the General, 1967). He admits that "there have always been constant elements in his painting, such as denunciation and provocation".  Since the end of the 1970s, Antonio Seguí has worked in series, creating a series of paintings with autobiographical overtones. In his work, Senor Gustavo, a dark character in a suit, wearing a hat and crossing the paintings as a kind of double and witness of the painter, is permanently present. His work evolves significantly in the late 80s ... The texture is light and fluid colors become bright or even fluorescent (some paintings are painted with spray paint). The paintings are covered with geometric shapes and flat colors. The painter constantly reinvents his popular theater by exploring all the possibilities of color, composition and drawing. His paintings follow one another but are not alike. Under an apparent naivety, each composition turns out to be much more complex than it seems. The Man, the emblematic figure of the painter, is an anonymous silhouette in movement, which he stages sometimes alone and sometimes lost in a tragic or comical urban agitation. In the painting, Seguí reduces Man to his social behavior. The scale of size disappears; the anatomy of the bodies no longer obeys the norms of biology. The facetiousness and the humor supplant the existential anguish. The painter orchestrates in his own way the hopes and follies of an ironic human comedy falsely naive and disturbing. From September 24 to October 31, 2015, Antonio Seguí's characters will invade the Laurent Strouk Gallery through some thirty paintings and sculptures from 2010 to 2015. 
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