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Title:Antonio Saura's Monstrifications: The monstrous body, melancholia, and the modern Spanish tradition
Author(s):Herrero Matoses, Fernando
Director of Research:Fineberg, Jonathan
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Fineberg, Jonathan
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Mendelson, Jordana; Kaplan, Brett A.; Delgado, Luisa-Elena; Weissman, Terri
Department / Program:Art & Design
Discipline:Art History
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
monstrous body
Spanish Tradition
Abstract:This dissertation examines the monstrous body in the works of Antonio Saura Atares (1930-1998) as a means of exploring moments of cultural and political refashioning of the modern Spanish tradition during the second half of the twentieth century. In his work, Saura rendered well-known artworks of masters of the Spanish pictorial legacy (El Greco, Velázquez, Goya and Picasso) as monstrous bodies. Saura’s career-long gesture of deforming bodies in discontinuous thematic series across decades (what I called monstrifications) functioned as instances for artistic self-evaluation and personal commentaries on the fractured narrative of the modern Spanish tradition. Rather than metaphorical self-portraits, Saura’s monstrous bodies allegorized the artistic and symbolic body of his artistic ancestry as a dismembered and melancholic corpus. In examining Saura’s monstrifications, this dissertation also examines the reshaping of modern Spanish narrative under three different political periods: Franco’s dictatorship, political transition, and social democracy. By situating Saura’s works and texts within significant moments of Spanish recent political history, this dissertation aims to open conversations and cultural analyses on ideological appropriations of cultural traditions. As this dissertation posits, Saura’s monstrous bodies incarnated an allegorical and melancholic gaze upon the fragmentary and discontinuous corpus of Spanish artistic legacy as an always-retrieved yet never fully restored body.
Issue Date:2014-05-30
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Fernando Herrero Matoses
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-05-30
Date Deposited:2014-05

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