Antoni Tàpies

Born in 1923 in Barcelona, the Catalan artist is considered the most important Spanish painter and graphic artist of the Informel.

Biography >>

Antoni Tàpies is born in 1923 in Barcelona. From 1926 until 1932, he attends the German school in Barcelona. From 1934 on, he goes to grammar school. An accident at the age of 17 triggers a mental crisis and he starts to paint and draw. In 1946, he terminates his study without taking a degree and concentrates on painting, developing his own artistic language. While, in the late 1930s and early 1940s, Tapies, as a self-taught artist, produces portraits in the style of Picasso and van Gogh, he later devotes himself to abstract painting. Here, the paste-like application of paint and other materials, as well as the very special technique of scraping the paint off, attract attention. Thus, the picture’s surface shows traces that remind of old walls. The artist is influenced by the works of Miró, Ernst and Klee but, from 1946 onwards, focuses his works on Surrealism. In 1948, he and several other artists found the “Dau al Set” artist group that produces an art magazine of the same name. In the same year, he participates in the “Salón de Octubre“ that takes place in his hometown. During a one-year scholarship in Paris, he establishes first contacts to the local art scene. Tàpies encounters the art of Informel painting, is introduced to Jean Dubuffet and his Art Brut and also reduces his own works to what is artistically most important to him. At the same time, he starts to integrate everyday objects in his paintings, which often seem to have a religious, even magical effect. In the 1970s, Tápies becomes politically active and turns against Franco’s dictatorship in his home country. Antoni Tàpies’ work is acknowledged in numerous international exhibitions. In 1952, for example, he represents Spain at the Venice Biennale, participates several times in the documenta art fair in Kassel (1959, 1964, 1968 and 1977) and, in 1984, establishes his own foundation, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona.

Gran triptic

Aquatinta, Vernis mou and Serigraphie, 1990

Dimensions: 197,5 x 294 cm