November 26, 2014



Antoni Tàpies was born in Barcelona in 1923 into a cultured, middle-class, Catalan nationalist family who, since the 19th century, had been part of a publishing and book-selling tradition that awoke in him an early love of books and reading.
That inclination was strengthened over a long convalescence from a lung disease, during which he began his first experiments with art. He spent an increasing amount of time on drawing and painting and ended up abandoning his law studies to devote himself to them fully. By the forties he was already exhibiting his works, which were outstanding on the art scene of the time.
Tàpies shared a general sensibility which affected artists on both sides of the Atlantic after the Second World War and the dropping of the atomic bomb, and soon expressed an interest in matter - earth, dust, atoms and particles - which took the shape of the use of materials foreign to academic artistic expression and experiments with new techniques. The matter paintings make up a substantial part of his work and are a project he is still engaged in today. He believes that the notion of matter must also be understood from the point of view of Mediaeval mysticism as magic, mimesis and alchemy. That is how we must see his wish for his works to have the power to transform our inner selves.
In the fifties and sixties Tàpies created a series of images, usually taken from his immediate environment, which would appear in the different stages of his evolution. Often, as well as being represented in different ways, a single image will have a series of differentiated meanings superimposed on one another. His message focuses on the revaluation of what is regarded as low, repulsive material.
Moreover, Tàpies’ work has always absorbed the political and social events of the time. In the late sixties and early seventies his political commitment in opposition to the dictatorship deepened and the works from that period have a marked character of denunciation and protest. Coinciding with the flowering of arte povera in Europe and post-minimalism in the United States, he worked more with objects, not showing them as they are but stamping them with his own seal and incorporating them into his language. In the early eighties, once democracy had returned to Spain, his interest in canvas as a support took on renewed strength. At that time he produced works with foam rubber or the spray technique, he used varnishes and created objects and sculptures in refractory clay or bronze, while remaining active in the field of graphic art. In the later years of the decade he seems to have a heightened interest in Eastern culture, a concern which had been incubating since the post-war years and which increasingly became a fundamental philosophical influence on his work because of its emphasis on what is material, the identity between man and nature and a rejection of the dualism of our society. He was also drawn by a new generation of scientists, who helped to provide a vision of the universe which understands matter as a whole in constant change and formation.
The works of the last years are, most of all, a reflection on pain - both physical and spiritual - understood as an integral part of life. Influenced by Buddhist thought, Tàpies believes that a better knowledge of pain allows us to soften its effects and therefore improve our quality of life. The passage of time, which has always been a constant in his work, now takes on fresh nuances when lived as a personal experience which brings greater self-knowledge and a clearer understanding of the world around him. In recent years he has consolidated an artistic language which visually conveys both his conception of art and certain philosophical concerns which have been renewed over the years. His artistic practice is still open to the brutality of the present while offering a form which, despite its ductility, remains faithful to its origins. And so the works of the last few years are not only fully contemporary, they are also a record of his own past.
Alongside his production of pictures and objects, since 1947 Tàpies has been active in the field of graphic work. He has produced a large number of collector’s books and dossiers in close association with poets and writers such as Alberti, Bonnefoy, Du Bouchet, Brodsky, Brossa, Daive, Dupin, Foix, Frémon, Gimferrer, Guillén, Jabès, Mestres Quadreny, Mitscherlich, Paz, Saramago, Takiguchi, Ullán, Valente and Zambrano.
Moreover, he has written essays which have been collected in a series of publications, some translated into different languages: La pràctica de l’art (1970), L’art contra l’estètica, (1974), Memòria personal (1978), La realitat com a art (1982), Per un art modern i progressista (1985), Valor de l’art (1993) and L’art i els seus llocs (1999)
You may visit my latest news about Antoni Tapies’s  exhibition of Against Tapies at Tapies Foundation and Antoni Tapies at Timothy Taylor Gallery to click below links.

OVAL 1986

Painting on Canvas
Dimensions: 116 x 146.5 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona / Vegap, 2006

Dimensions: 33.5 x 48.5 cm


Dimensions: 50 x 70cm

Dimensions: 55 x 77 cm

Etching and Carborundum
Dimensions: 56 × 76 cm
Edition of 99
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Mixed Media on Wood
Dimensions: 81 × 100 cm
© ADAGP, courtesy of Galerie Lelong

Mixed Media on Canvas
Dimensions: 138.9 × 88.9 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Mixed on Board
Dimensions: 65 × 123 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Acrylic Paint and Collage on Wood
Dimensions: 194.9 cm x 130.2
© Pace Gallery

CREU I S -  1976
Dimensions: 55.9 × 75.9 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Mixed Media
Dimensions: 219.7 × 269.9 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona /
Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VEGAP /
Image Provided by the Harn Museum of Art

Dimensions: 195 x 130 cm
Pencil and Varnish on Canvas
© Respective Artists & Timothy Taylor Gallery

Mixed Media on Wood
Dimensions: 89.5 x 116 cm
© Respective Artists & Timothy Taylor Gallery


The Fundació Antoni Tàpies was created in 1984 by the artist Antoni Tàpies to promote the study and knowledge of modern and contemporary art.
To that end, the Fundació opened its doors in June 1990 in the building of the former Editorial Montaner i Simon publishing house, the work of the Modernist architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner, restored and refurbished by the architects Roser Amadó and Lluís Domènech Girbau. Constructed between 1880 and 1885, at an early stage of the evolution of Catalan Modernism, the building was the first in the Example district to integrate industrial typology and technology, combining exposed brick and iron, into the fabric of the city centre.
The Fundació Antoni Tàpies takes a plural, inter disciplinary approach and aims to set up cooperative ventures with experts in different fields of learning to contribute to a better understanding of contemporary art and culture. It combines the organisation of temporary exhibitions, symposia, lectures and film seasons with a range of publications to go with the activities and periodic shows of Antoni Tàpies’ work. The Fundació owns one of the most complete collections of Tàpies’ work, mostly made up of donations by Antoni and Teresa Tàpies.
The Library of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies is in the old Editorial Montaner i Simon warehouse; the original shelves have been conserved. The Library specialises in modern and contemporary art. It also houses the largest archive on Tàpies’ work, collections on Asian and Pre-Columbian arts and culture as well as the arts of Africa and Oceania which have had such a great influence on the evolution of 20th century art. Other subjects, such as architecture, design, the decorative arts, photography, film and video are also represented. The initial core donated by Antoni Tàpies has been enlarged with recent and historical publications and international videos and magazines, which help to swell an ever-increasing collection.


Dimensions: 120 x 80cm
© Fondaziona Antoni Tapies

Dimensions: 50 x 70cm

Colour Serigraph on Treated Laid Paper
Dimensions: 35 × 108.5 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

AT 2006
Dimensions: 50 x 70 cm

FOC 1982

Grabado al Aguafuerte, Materia Policromada y Gofrado
Dimensions: 56 x 76 cm


Gravura Em Metal
Dimensions: 93 × 132 cm
Edition of 99
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Grabado al Aguafuerte
Dimensions: 78 x 106 cm

"Tàpies’ poster production can be classified into two broad groups. Firstly, the posters he produced for his own exhibitions. Secondly, those that engage with the public sphere and which constitute invaluable graphic and artistic testimony to certain needs and aspirations felt by civil society, as well as other cultural realities forming part of our recent past. Tàpies’ posters also provide documentary material of the highest order, both on general issues (the abolition of the death penalty, amnesty and human rights, protests against nuclear power, calls for peace or against apartheid, etc.) and particular questions. However, above all his posters are connected to events in the social, cultural and political history of Catalonia, both during the last years of the Franco regime and during the period from the restoration of democracy to the present, with posters dedicated to the Assembly of Catalonia, commemorating the Catalan national day on 11 September and the fifth centenary of the first book printed in Catalan, defending the Catalan masters and music sung in Catalan, as well as those announcing or commemorating other important events, such as the festivities of La Mercè, the establishment of the Catalan broadcasting company in 1983 and the international recognition of Catalan culture. To this we should also add a subgroup comprising the artist’s homages to writers, poets, musicians, film directors and intellectuals, and which introduce a new use of the poster as an open, public letter."
Nuria Enguita Mayo, exhibition curator.

"Tàpies’ posters, which are imbued with a yearning for a social Utopia, are closer in spirit to the Russian avant-gardes of the twenties, a time when new art came to the fore and the artist was at the service of the people and education. Tàpies offered up his artistic language to the service of a social Utopia, dream and vindication, and he has continued for more than four decades without interruption. 1960 to 2006 is the overall period covered by this exhibition. Whilst these posters comprise a journey through Tàpies’ painting over the last few decades, it is also true that his paintings are ‘contaminated’ by the social purpose of the poster and that both his pictorial work and his posters have become a form of public art. All Tàpies’ painting embodies a great manifesto in favour of freedom as the essential right of people and nations, but in the poster this proclamation becomes a cry, a guiding voice, a public message."

"Tàpies’ posters occupied an important position in the Catalan public sphere as instruments vindicating democracy and Catalan identity, whilst serving as ambassadors for Catalonia internationally. Over the years, then, Tàpies’ posters reflected both the evolution of his own work and the progress being made in terms of the cultural and social demands of the country. It is true that many of Tàpies’ posters announce his exhibitions, but even these have a certain air of the manifesto about them."
"Tàpies brings all the spirit and resources from the language of painting to his posters. However, unlike other poster artists, who more or less faithfully reproduce their habitual aesthetic, with Tàpies the graphic force of the concept rises above all aesthetic considerations, so that there is less material and more spirit. (...) In Tàpies’ posters we may find such resources as drawing, collage, frottage, the pencil stroke, the forceful application of a thick paintbrush, traces of such ‘poor’ materials as cardboard, scratches using cane, angry spray paint and the mark of a tampon. However, they nearly always reflect personal energy through calligraphy. His posters are full of visual force and power and are designed for visual interpretation: the impact of illuminated or capital letters, the presence of the human element represented by fragments of the body such as the foot, symbolising life as a path that we travel along by the action of walking (‘You make your path as you walk’, Machado dixit), the senses (eyes, nose, mouth, ears, hands) as a source of perceptive knowledge, letters and numbers, hieroglyphics, newspapers, plays on words, the use of objects to produce a striking graphic effect, which should be more convincing than the word. (...) The high conceptual quality of Tàpies’ posters leads us to say that in many cases these can be considered almost visual poetry; sketches for a concrete poetry. The resources he uses are often those characteristic of graffiti, of the impact of automatic writing and of the spontaneity with which he turns concepts, matured and shaped decisively, into reality."
"Tàpies’ posters fully belong to the political fabric and they show the artist, the intellectual, as a servant, a kind of ‘social worker’, or an ‘art worker’ at the service of the people, since the forms of representation of a public domain that is autonomous and opposed to the dominant forms must always reflect the roots of people’s real experiences. With his posters, Tàpies erases the barriers between the political and the poetic. He creates conceptual cartographies for an emancipating public domain within the ideological context of an unrepeatable historical moment."
Excerpts from Pilar Parcerisas’ prologue, ‘Tàpies’ Posters and the Public Sphere’, Els cartells de Tàpies i l’esfera pública / Los carteles de Tàpies y la esfera pública (Barcelona: Fundació Antoni Tàpies, 2006).

Paint and Pencil on Wood
Dimensions: 162 cm x 130 cm
© Pace Gallery

Etching and Carborundum
Dimensions: 56 × 76 cm
Edition of 99
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Dimensions: 55 x 46 cm
Varnish and Pencil on Canvas
© Respective Artists & Timothy Taylor Gallery

Mixed Media an Assemblage on Wood
Dimensions: 65 x 81 cm,
© Respective Artists & Timothy Taylor Gallery

Paint on Wood
Dimensions: 81.3 cm x 100.3 cm
© Pace Gallery

Paint and Varnish on Canvas
Dimensions: 220 x 542 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies Barcelona / Vegap, 2007

Medium Oil Paint, Epoxy Resin and Marble Dust on Canvas
Dimensions: Support: 1140 x 1613 mm - Frame: 1183 x 1665 x 48 mm
Collection Tate
Acquisition Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery 1962

Paint & Collage on Cardboard
Dimensions: 68.5 × 50 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

Mixed Media and Assemblage on Wood
Dimensions: 88.9 × 233 × 9.5 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

½ - 2003
Paint and Varnish on Wood
Dimensions: 200 x 200 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona / Vegap, 2004


Grabado al Aguatinta en Rojo, Amarillo y Negro
Dimensions: 75 x 100 cm


Etching and Aquatint
Dimensions: Plate: 49.7 x 39.4cm; Sheet: 77.5 x 58.7cm
Credit Line: Donald Karshan Fund
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris


Credit Line: Gift of Paul F. Walter
© 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

EMMA - Espoo Museum of Modern Art is having the first retrospective exhibition of Antoni Tàpies in Finland. To mark the occasion the catalogue Antoni Tàpies is to be published. On 5 November, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies presents the portfolio poemes a Antoni Tàpies (7 poems to Antoni Tàpies), with poems by Jordi Carrió and a print by Antoni Tàpies. The exhibition Tàpies Posters and the Public Sphere, organised by the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, tours to the Cervantes Institute, Madrid, and to the Museu Valencià de la Il·lustració i de la Modernitat (MuVIM) in Valencia.

In February, two almost simultaneous exhibitions – Galeria Toni Tàpies, Barcelona, and Waddington Galleries, London – present the artist’s most recent work, produced in his studios in Barcelona and Campins during spring and summer 2007. The retrospective exhibition Tàpies Posters and the Public Sphere tours to the Cervantes Institutes in Toulouse, Prague and Berlin. In May, Galerie Lelong, Zurich, exhibits a selection of drawings and sketches from the nineteen nineties and the present decade. At the end of November, an amended version of the exhibition tours to Galerie Lelong, Paris. In December, Galería Soledad Lorenzo, Madrid, has an exhibition of the work produced by the artist during the summer in Campins. To mark the occasion of the artist’s 85th birthday, D. Sam Abrams, Jordi Carrió, Marc Cuixart and Enric Satué have edited the portfolio Tàpies escriu (Tàpies writes), with a selection of texts by Antoni Tàpies and prints by Antoni Llena, Soledad Sevilla, Manel Esclusa, Pere Formiguera, Joan Fontcuberta and Eulàlia Valldosera. The portfolio will be presented on 13 December in the Auditorium of the Foment de les Arts i del Disseny (FAD).

Xavier Antich publishes the book Antoni Tàpies. En blanc i negre (1955-2003). Assaigs, an anthology of texts by Tàpies previously published in La pràctica de l’art (1970), L’art contra l’estètica (1974), La realitat com a art (1982), Per un art modern i progressista (1985), Valor de l’art (1993) i L’art i els seus llocs (1999). The book also includes an interview with Jean-Louis Andral, realised in Barcelona in 2002, and a text rewritten by the artist on the occasion of the award ceremony of the Premio Velázquez de Artes Plásticas in 2003. Together with Indiana University Press, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies publishes A Personal Memoir. Fragments for an Autobiography (Complete Writings. Volume I), the first English version of the book by Antoni Tàpies Memòria personal. Fragment per a una autobiografia (1977), and the first volume of the artist’s complete written works. The publication presents Tàpies’ memoirs, together with historical illustrations from various sources, including his own and his family’s private archives, a chronology and a selection of works that show the development of Tàpies’ artistic language from the 1940s to today. From May to October, the exhibition Antoni Tàpies: The Resources of Rhetoric will be at the Dia: Beacon, New York. He participates in the visual creation of Event (2009), presented by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Mercat de les Flors, with five works from the Fundació Antoni Tàpies’ Collection. Xavier Barral i Altet publishes Abecedari Tàpies. The exhibition Antoni Tàpies: Materia e tempo opens at the MARCA Museum in Catanzaro.

YEAR OF 2010 
Galeria Toni Tàpies, Barcelona, shows Antoni Tàpies’ most recent work, realised in his studio in Campins in summer 2009. The Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, reopens to the public after two years-closure for the rehabilitation of the building, conducted by the firm of architects Ábalos+Sentkiewicz Arquitectos. The inaugural exhibition is Antoni Tàpies. The Places of Art, including works from Tàpies’ private collection and works made by the artist during the last twenty years. To coincide with the reopening, the work Mitjó ( Sock ) ( maquette, 1991; work, 2010 ) is installed on the terrace of the Fundació. Mitjó was a sculpture project for the Oval Hall of the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, which, while having caused a great social impact both in favour and against, was never realised. The Fundació Antoni Tàpies publishes, in Catalan and Spanish, the first volume of the complete written works by Antoni Tàpies Memòria personal. Fragment per a una autobiografia ( Obra escrita completa. Volum I [A Personal Memoir. Fragments for an Autobiography ( Complete Writings. Volume I ) ]. On 10 March, Pere Gimferrer and Josep Miquel Sobrer present the publication at the Auditorium of the Fundació. Together with Televisió de Catalunya and Enciclopèdia Catalana, the Fundació releases the documentary Te de Tàpies ( T for Tàpies ), directed by Carolina Tubau and produced by Televisió de Catalunya. Juan Carlos I of Spain bestows the title of marquis on the artist. He designs the logo commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of the public presentation of the Associació d’Artistes Visuals de Catalunya ( AAVC ), an organisation of which he is president. He designs the poster commemorating the 500th anniversary of the birth of Saint Francis Borgia. He is honoured by the 5th International Engraving Biennial of Douro 2010 ( August–October ). The Fundació Palau, Caldes d’Estrac, organises an exhibition of some the artist’s recent works entitled Antoni Tàpies. Look at the Hand... ( October 2010 – January 2011 ). Galeria Fernando Santos, Oporto, organises the exhibition Antoni Tàpies. Graphic Works ( November–December 2010 ).
YEAR OF 2011 
Galerie Lelong, Paris, shows the artist’s most recent work, made in his studio in Campins in the summer of 2010 ( February–April 2011 ). At the same time, Galerie Boisserée, Cologne, organises the exhibition Antoni TàpiesMalerei und Graphik. He participates in the exhibition Realisme(s). L’empremta de Courbet ( Realism[s]. The Mark of Courbet ), Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, MNAC, Barcelona. He produces the poster for the 12th Festival of Religious and World Music, Girona ( 28 June – 10 July 2011 ). The Fundació Antoni Tàpies, together with Indiana University Press, Bloomington & Indianapolis, publishes Collected Essays ( Complete Writings. Volume II ), the English version of the second and last volume of the artist’s complete written works. The publication includes La pràctica de l’art ( The Practice of Art ), Barcelona: Ariel, 1970; L’art contra l’estètica ( Art Against Aesthetics ), Barcelona: Ariel, 1974; La realitat com a art ( Reality as Art ), Barcelona: Laertes, 1982; Per un art modern i progressista ( For a Modern and Progressive Art ), Barcelona: Empúries, 1985; Valor de l’art ( The Value of Art ), Barcelona: Empúries, 1993, and L’art i els seus llocs ( The Places of Art ), Madrid: Ediciones Siruela, 1999, as well as an appendix of assorted texts that had either not been included in the above publications or postdate them. To celebrate the publication of this book, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies and the Institut Ramon Llull organise the symposium, The Critical Reception of the Work of Antoni Tàpies in the United States, at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, New York. The speakers are Manuel Borja-Villel, Serge Guilbaut and Julia E. Robinson, with Robert Lubar as moderator. He participates in the exhibition Louise Bourgeois. Antoni TàpiesRencontre, Galería Soledad Lorenzo, Madrid, October–November 2011. He exhibits paintings and drawings at the Galeria Toni Tàpies, Barcelona ( Novembre 2011 – January 2012 ). The Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen, Siegen, organises the retrospective exhibition Bild, Körper, Pathos ( November 2011 – February 2012 ).
YEAR OF 2012 
Antoni Tàpies dies at 88 years of age, February 6, in Barcelona. To pay tribute, Fundació Antoni Tàpies allows free acces to the institution for citizens, in order they can see some of Antoni Tàpies works on show.
You may read Antoni Tapies’s entire biography to click above link.