A selection from the portfolio of prints by Antoni Tàpies (1923 - 2012)

Variations II: Chaise et pied 

Sabata i ocre

Improvisations en blanc i negre I

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Antoni Tàpies was born on Dec. 13, 1923 in Barcelona. Today this Catalan is one of the most renowned contemporary artists. From his Surrealist beginnings, he moved on to become an advocate of Informal Art, Conceptual Art and Arte Povera. Tàpies works in his own unmistakable artistic language: his paintings consist of signs and traces, of evidence, reduction and assemblage. Antoni Tàpies' began law studies. A heart and lung disease brought him to visit a sanatorium in the mountains in 1942, where he began drawing. Short study period at the Nolasc Valls Art Academy. Dedicated himself fully to painting after 1946, quitting law school. Studio on Carrer Jaume in Barcelona. In 1947 he met the poet Joan Brossa and the collector Joan Prats, a friend of Miró's. 'Dau al Set' was founded. First exhibits. Stipendium from the French Government: year-long sojourn in Paris. Involved with the emerging Tachisme movement and Informal painting (1950-51). Traveled through the USA. First paintings with impasto application of paint and addition of cement and sand (1953). Tàpies met the writer Michel Tapié (1954). His puncturing and cutting up of the canvas or support led to scandal. The step from painterly space to objet d'art was taken and he moved towards Conceptual Art. Soon Tàpies begins using cardboard, strings and unusually poor materials for his scholarly search, Arte Povera finds its way into his works. At the same time, in 1959, Sala Gaspar in Barcelona published his first lithographs. Printing became an important medium for him. The elementary forms of his paintings appeared in his lithographs as well as in his etchings, the dark grounds, impressions, traces, but also classical signs, numbers and letters. Tàpies wholly commited himself through his work for the freedom of artistic expression as well as of Catalonia and its culture. His essays in biography and art criticism are excellent reflections of Tàpies' spiritual stance. They constitute one of the most distinctive collections of writings on art of our times and at the same time reflect the core of Catalan spiritual life (cf. Editions Erker Verlag, St. Gallen). Exhibits throughout the world, honors and awards acknowledge his work. In 1987, the artist founds the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona, with its spacious museum and its East Asian Library. The foundation publishes descriptions of his works and writings by the artist. It also runs its own printing workshop. 

(c) Evi Kliemand, 1998. all rights reserved. Reproduced with the kind permission of the author.