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Structuralist Art by Martine Saura

French from Spanish roots, I am born in 1953 in North Africa, lived my youth in South America and my adult life in France and United States. This uprooting that I had to put up with at the Algerian independence caused two strong emotions in me : a particular notion of family and important introspection.

During my youth, thanks to my father's work, my family has travelled from one country to another every two or four years, length of my father's work contracts, and was in contact with extremely deprived natives but also with the political people of those countries. So, growing this way through their cocoon in this kind of wandering, my artistic growth has been favoured and the cultural influences had great importance. Very young, I drew with pens, watercolour and gouache (as most children do but maybe with more enthusiasm) and at the end of the 60es, I learned bas-relief by carving in wood Pre-Colombian motifs.

In 1970, I followed courses in the Asuncion Art School (Paraguay) where was only taught charcoal ; then, I subscribed to the Brazilian Cultural Centre where the Brazilian artist Livio Abramo particularly taught wood engraving and "eaux fortes". End of 71, I won the first price in the young artists contest of the city of Asuncion.

1972, I went to France to follow my studies and subscribed to Bordeaux Art School. Mister Charazac, artist of good reputation, was teaching and directed my courses. That is how I left my family, living alone for the first time, my creativity internalized. I had the luck to be able to join various group expositions, but in 74 with my marriage, I integrated the professional life and even if I continued painting, I did not any longer participate to the artistic life of the area.

1985 in United States, I learned gold leaf use and decoration. I did architect drawings and designed letter headings and company logos. I also discovered acrylic.

1989, I returned to France and was able to appreciate iconography and its symbolism through women monk's eyes.

During all these years, from 74 to 95, I have not presented my works in galleries but I continued the use of ink, graphite, gouache or collage, sometimes also plasters (never oils because of allergies). However, years going by and personal problems, my art became dark, obscure, sometimes violent, except in US where I only drew or painted homes. I was living a time that I call "the vicious circle of self-destruction" (that is to say, all created images would almost automatically be negative or blank and so their number and progression cultivated this exactly I wanted to go away from).

It is only in 95, at 42 years old, that I decide to "filter the images" in order to censure myself so I can again develop special feelings I want to go towards. I realized what exactly meant "the suggestive value of images" and they just became more figurative. Not that the projected vision could only be "pink or blue", it can also denounce horror, but from then on my art creations underwent profound change and became influenced by poetry. I also assimilated then wild life and human physical expression to heart movements and states of mind. So I became wild life and speed and movement painter (some of these works are exposed in the gallery of this site). It was an important step for me because it made me understand the meaning of the words "to be universal" and far to tie me up it liberated me. This is the study that will bring me to Structuralism.

In those days I used sanguine and made my pastel technics with much more nuance. I also was justice civil servant and with the participation of a watercolour painter magistrate and a caricaturist clerk, we organised an exposition in the Versailles Court of appeal for an international law meeting. The jurisdiction was there and I received congratulations from Saint Petersbourg magistrates, city twined to Versailles. This event encouraged me to come back to the artistic life of the community.

1998, Mr Cornet, director of Thuillier Gallery, made contact with me after Maisons-Laffitte contest and I could prepare my exposition in his gallery next to the Picasso Museum, Thorigny Street in Paris, while I worked.

2000, always figurative, art becomes another alphabet. I discover North American Indians' spirituality. Paintings also become sacramental (visions, religious or icon subjects inspiration, not using the classical symbolism), subjects vary and multiply.

2001, I immigrate to Canada and really desire to dedicate myself only to art. I use only gold leaf and acrylics and obtain from the Gallery Gora's Director the possibility to exhibit my works in Montreal. This event will occur from April 2nd to 20th, 2002.

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