Antonio Seguí at the Fondation Folon
That familiar, mischievous little chap with his jaunty hat and swagger, followed in his wake by a dog and a bizarre cast of characters all hurtling around at breakneck speed in a metropolitan maelstrom! A number of naked women, arrogance etched on their faces and in some cases torso-less, mingle among a crowd of people who are seemingly oblivious to everyone else, as they sprint, ties flapping in the wind, towards an unbridled destiny.
Yes, that can only be Antonio Seguí – but there’s much more to his work than just that! For over half a century, he has been painting and sculpting works marked by a sharp wit, an acute sense of irony and a perceptive and critical view of the way beings and things, and even architectures, coexist with one another. Consequently, his work abounds with graphic solutions, colours and visual adventures every bit as masterful as the amazing variety of his images.
Born in 1934 in Cordoba, Argentina, Antonio Seguí first visited Europe in 1951. After spending time in Madrid, he enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he proved himself a diligent student. He also travelled extensively during this period. In 1955, he returned to Cordoba, where he studied law and exhibited his first paintings. From that point on, his life took on a whole new dimension: he served for a time as cultural attaché in Ecuador, later abandoning his post to embark upon a more fulfilling journey across South America, and also managed to stage dozens of exhibitions.
His life took another new turn in 1963, when he settled permanently in Paris, and it is there that he has created his remarkable works ever since. While his life has been a long journey peppered with discoveries, daring deeds, olfactory or visual pleasures, his work expresses the tastes and favourite ploys of an art explorer who always relishes a challenge. Because Antonio Seguí is always keen to decipher the incongruities of life in this world of fools – and sometimes also of thugs.
Cheerful, inventive and warm like the man himself, his pictorial universe is a private domain which suits him perfectly. And it is this long and eventful journey, always brimming with exuberance, insight, richness and no end of surprises, which the Argentinian artist intends to revisit in his own way in this retrospective.
It features around a hundred of his works: charcoals, pastels, collages, inks, paintings and sculptures. Complex and colourful, joyful and critical, his oeuvre has the power to transport you, mind and senses, to another place – whilst always bringing a smile to your face.