Antoni Tapies artworks and editions
Antoni Tàpies i Puig was a painter, graphic artist and sculptor from Catalonia. Tapies was one of the most important artists of the Informel of his native Spain.
A lung ailment overshadowed the Spaniard's childhood. While recovering from his illness in a sanatorium, Tapies became self-taught in literature, music and drawing. After dropping out of law school, he then turned entirely to art.
His early works were still strongly oriented towards the works of Picasso, van Gogh, Miro or Paul Klee. A Dadaist and Surrealist phase followed, until he finally worked increasingly abstract and found his own style. In 1948, together with other artist colleagues, the Catalan artist founded the artist group "Dau als Set" ("Cube with seven eyes"). Thanks to a scholarship, Antoni Tapies was able to stay in Paris. This was followed by trips to the Netherlands and Belgium. For a short time he also stayed in New York. His international breakthrough came with his participation in the 1958 Venice Biennale. The artist was represented several times at the Documenta in Kassel.
In his artworks and editions, Antoni Tapies depicts calm, often empty surfaces with simple generous forms that reveal a structural order. More and more, the artist broke away from simple painting. In his works he mixed materials such as cement, sand or marble dust. He created surfaces on his canvases that look like chapped brickwork by scraping off paint and applying it over and over again to the picture support. In addition, he integrated individual letters, crosses, signs or even objects and pieces of clothing. In this way he realized complex pictorial worlds and his own realities in his works. He depicted pictorial landscapes whose formal tension was based on the contrast of empty, silent spaces and designed form, of positive and negative, elevation and deepening, chance and order, freedom and bond.
His artworks and editions radiate a peculiar and almost mediative effect on his viewers and seem to elude any temporal reference. Tapies did not see himself as an abstract artist. "I feel myself to be a realist, because all my work stands for the attempt to grasp reality", the Catalan once explained. He is considered the most important representative of the Spanish Informel. For his works, he not only received numerous prizes and awards, in 2010 he was awarded the noble title of Marqués de Tàpies.
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