This section offers a selection of program exhibitions related to the phenomenon of post-conceptual Figuration, accompanied by a data sheet and a selection of works presented and the participating artists, accessible via an alphabetical search. The addition of new contents will be on-going.


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Castellón de la Plana 1961

Lives and works in Valencia





Linked to the neo-metaphysical painting resulting from his participation in El retorno del hijo pródigo (The return of the prodigal Son) exhibition. Linked to the galería Temple.


Manuel Sáez questions the artifice of representation challenging the rhetoric of illusion in order to reveal the unchanging structure that lies behind appearances. A challenge to the ideals of Realism that he faces, through the breaking of the metaphorical frame from the materiality of painting itself.


He creates an educated painting, full of neutralized references like humor and irony where he reflects on the painting itself through a slow process of overlapping thin and imperceptible layers of meaning and matter. Sáez faces in these puzzles, the poetic meaning of the rhetorical language poetic through its pictorial contradictory logic.


In his particular redefinition of the concept of figuration, Sáez employs numerous strategies derived mainly from the avant-garde and mechanical processes used in the representation. A distancing of the object is enhanced using photographic images as a source of information to convey to the painting the unreality of the medium. In his work, it is significant the use of keys from poetry, the comic and abstraction - like monochrome spectrums, color fields or the scheme and synthesis of forms- oriented to the creation of units of visibility and minimal significance.


Sáez explains the world through detailed studies about his passions, where he collates accurate opinions on sociological aspects of the art world and inter-textual references to avant-garde and contemporary artists, with whom he converses and analyzes. His work expresses an obsessive interest in the world of objects and their treatment in the history of art, from the immobility of the classic still life to the power of the Surrealist object.



The use of a narrative from synecdoches encourages polysemy and the power of evocation in his paintings. Sáez explores within his paintings the metaphysical, psychological and erotic dimension of household objects showing his love for the form. Self-portraits are significant, in which the author recreates an artistic identity attached to his fetishes through the pages of a journal of fiction.



Among the pictorial references the following painters are highlighted: Roy Lichenstein, Alex Katz, James Rosenquist, Salvador Dalí, Rene Magritte, Hergé or Sánchez Cotán.



Consulted bibliography: Jeffett, William, “Manuel Sáez: in medias res” and “Entrevista con Manuel Sáez”, Combalía, Victoria, “La mirada recortable de Manuel Sáez”, in the exhibition catalogue Manuel Sáez, Valencia, IVAM , 2000. De Miguel, Ana, “Entrevista con Manuel Sáez”, in the exhibition catalogue Manuel Sáez. Dibujos, Valencia, Sala Parpalló, 2008.




Observatory > Artist