Works by Antoni Tàpies
(Barcelona, 1923 - 2012) Spanish painter. At the age of twenty-two he gave up his law degree to devote himself fully to painting, an art that he approached through collage (sheets of newspaper, tinfoil, strings) and earthy paintings featuring grattages (scratches) and graffiti. In this first stage of his life he creates, with other Catalan artists and intellectuals (Joan Brossa, Joan Ponç, Modest Cuixart, Joan Josep Tharrats), the group "Dau al Set" (1948). This movement shelters his first exhibitions, which already showed his interest in surrealism. Around 1949, renouncing the effects of matter, he devoted himself to creating paintings in which gray tones predominate, although with interruptions of varying importance of bright colors (green, red), and in which textile prints, signs (semicircles, triangles) and deformed letters appear. In 1954, after teaching a course in abstract art at the Menéndez Pelayo University in Santander, he returned to matter: he worked with mortar (mixing powdered marble with oil and using powdered pigments dissolved in latex) to rediscover the secular tradition of a fossilized world, with faded colors, which won him the Carnegie Prize in 1958. His stage after 1965 belongs to neo-figuration and poor art: burlap, rustic objects and everyday objects merge in a work that reached universal diffusion (Gray matter in the shape of a hat, 1966; Three chairs, 1967; Two crosses, 1967). In the seventies, his "sculptures in space" make the object (assembled wood, chairs, clothes, burnt books), until then stamped in hollow or modeled in relief in the thickness of the material, come out of the canvas to immobilize it in space and give it a rougher reality. In this aspect Tàpies communicates to poor art a very important emotional charge. His creative work was accompanied, in the seventies and eighties, by theoretical texts (La práctica del arte, 1970; El arte contra la estética, 1974; Memoria personal, 1978; Por un arte moderno y progresista, 1985). In 1984 the Tàpies Foundation was created in Barcelona, located in an old building designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. Inaugurated in 1990, its funds, formed with the work donated by Teresa and Antoni Tàpies, constitute the most complete collection of the Catalan painter's works. That same year the artist was named honorary member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando and was awarded the Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts and the Praemium Imperiale for painting. Of the rest of his production it is worth mentioning the murals for the Expo'92, Embolcall (1994), inspired by the Rwandan war, and Cerimònia (1996).
Works by Antoni Tàpies
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