Antonio Seguí spent most of his life outside of his native Argentina, using his work to criticize the corruption and violence brought by dictatorial regimes that came into power beginning in the late 1950s. Known for the satirical expressionism of his Neo-figurative style in the 1960s, characterized by grotesque figures and dark colors, Seguí later turned to caricatures of bureaucrats and political figures, portrayed within cramped and crowded urban environments. In the present work, Seguí divided the canvas into seven vertical panels that contain fragmented views of bodies. This disorienting juxtaposition of narrow spaces and split bodies—arranged like frames in a film montage—creates a sense of mystery and intrigue. The judicial figure at the center and the repeated image of a man in suit dominate the painting’s spatial arrangement, concealing a female body that seems to disappear against a dark silhouette. Seguí’s reference to the popular culture of newspaper clips and film and his use of fragmentation and vivid colors connect his work from this period with the international Pop movement.
Text credit: Produced in collaboration with the University of Maryland Department of Art History & Archaeology and Patricia Ortega-Miranda.