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Dies the painter Fernando Sáez

The painter spaniard Fernando Saez Gonzalez has died this Saturday in Madrid at 97 years old. He was born in Laredo in 1921. The rugged landscape of the cantabr

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Dies the painter Fernando Sáez

The painter spaniard Fernando Saez Gonzalez has died this Saturday in Madrid at 97 years old. He was born in Laredo in 1921. The rugged landscape of the cantabrian coast and its hard chromaticism would leave forever an imprint evident in the plastic of Saez, who I always remembered the summers in Ontorria and in the near Mazcuerras, where his uncle was parish priest and where he met Concha Espina. The writer would make the protagonist of his novel the priest of the village to the uncle of the future painter. In 1931 the family left Laredo and moved to Madrid, the year of the proclamation of the Second Republic, by frequenting the centre Lope de rueda of the Free Institution of Education, where he gives his first steps as a cartoonist and receives his first prize of drawing, among them, the reproduction of The surrender of Breda, by Velazquez. And as a restless teenager, Fernando Sáez begins to frequent the Prado Museum with a fascination for Van der Weyden, Bruegel, Mantegna, Bosch, and Cranach.

After the Civil War, in Laredo, in 1939, returns to Madrid and in 1940 began to collaborate in the press as a cartoonist. In 1942, he was called to a long compulsory military service that extends until 1946. After alternating the classes in the School of Fine Arts with social gatherings of artists where known critics such as Ramón Faraldo and Enrique Azcoaga, to painters such as Rafael Zabaleta and Pancho Cossío, sculptors as Angel Ferrant, writers such as Cela, Hemingway, García Nieto, and poets such as Gerardo Diego, Dámaso Alonso. Collaborates as an illustrator with Eduardo Aunós to the Editorial Grifón and in September 1948 he held his first exhibition together with his brother Martin, also a painter. At the end of the forties is known in Asturias painters Evaristo Valle and Nicanor Piñole, and in 1949 he exhibited for the first time in the country, to participate in the II Bienal Hispanoamericana de La Habana.

In 1950, Saez made his first individual exhibition of painting at the gallery Clan, Madrid. In this same year he exhibited in Venezuela, Argentina and France, while continuing her activity of illustrator, publisher, poster designer, graphic artist and Jokerbet model-maker. And it is at this stage when it maintains contacts with the School of Vallecas, then known by School of Madrid, but without belonging to it, and with the group Deeply for a time, but just desligándose by his desire to investigate on his own.

In 1957, he travelled first to Paris: it is impressed by the work of Giacometti. He collaborates as an illustrator for various magazines, such as the cuban Bohemia, or let's Talk, New York, and also in The Estafeta Literaria, Index, Vertex, Horizons, World Hispanic and foreground. Executed a large mural, now gone, in the train station of Logroño, next to his brother Martin, whose destruction was preceded by a great controversy. In 1958, he took part in the Universal Exhibition of Brussels, and the following year, exposes individually in the General Direction of Fine Arts, in Madrid, a show that established him definitively as a painter breakaway and a clear precursor of the New Figuration. By those dates, Fernando Sáez contact with the group Step and he developed a friendship with the painters Tino Grandío, Manuel Viola, Menchu Gal, Agustín Redondela, Álvaro Delgado, Luis García-Ochoa, Pedro Bueno, Cirilo Martínez Novillo, Andrés, Rabbit and Pedro Mozos; in addition to the poets Manolo Conde and Adriano del Valle. In those years also enters to form part of the collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Madrid.

In 1964 Saez obtained a scholarship from the Juan March Foundation to reside in Paris, and there contact with the cultural environment in Spanish. Participates in the New York World's Fair, in the Pavilion of Spain and exhibited in the united States, Portugal, Morocco and Egypt. Already in 1969, is selected by the Musée Rath in Geneva for an exhibition on the Spanish avant-garde, Art anglais d'aujourd'hui. All of this activity does not interrupt in the following decade, his important work as an illustrator of narrative and receives on two occasions Lazarillo Prize for Children's Illustration, of the National Institute of Spanish books (1969 and 1971).

In the decade of the seventies, signed with the gallery owner, new york Califano an exclusive contract for the united States. Its international activity is more intense in 1974 with their participation in the Art Fair in Basel (Switzerland) and his exhibitions in Brussels and Munich. It is a landmark exhibition of 1978 in the Municipal Museum of Fine Arts of Santander. That same year he exhibited for the first time in the Casa del Siglo XV in Segovia and starts his career of engraver. After a long european tour to Switzerland, Italy and France in 1981 introduced major cosmetic changes that will be in 1982, in the first edition of the art fair Arco, and also present in your sample in the madrid gallery Kreisler, noted by critics as “the culmination of Fernando Sáez and the New Figuration”.

The artist has remained active practically until they die, by drawing all the days while it has had forces. His career culminated with several major exhibitions, such as the Classroom Culture Festival (Santander, 2006), in the Gallery Santiago Casar (2008) and in a major anthological exhibition, 1964-2005, and works on paper at the Art Museum of Santander (2013). In 2017, the Museo Luis González Robles, Alcalá de Henares, organized another anthology: Fernando Sáez, seventy years old in the painting.

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