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.

Author Antoni Tàpies
Paint, Varnish and Pencil on Canvas
Dimensions: 300 x 391 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Mixed Media on Canvas
Dimensions: 200 x 600 cm
Credit Line: Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa
© 2012 Fundació Antoni Tàpies/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New

In the years after World War II, both Europe and America saw the rise of predominantly abstract painting concerned with materials and the expression of gesture and marking. New Yorkers dubbed the development in the U.S. Abstract Expressionism, while the French named the pan-European phenomenon of gestural painting Art Informel (literally “unformed art”). A variety of the latter was Tachisme, from the French word tache, meaning stain or blot. Antoni Tàpies was among the artists to receive the label Tachiste because of the rich texture and pooled color that seemed to occur accidentally on his canvases.
Tàpies reevaluated humble materials, things of the earth such as sand—which he used in Great Painting - and the refuse of humanity: string, bits of fabric, and straw. By calling attention to this seemingly inconsequential matter, he suggested that beauty can be found in unlikely places. Tàpies saw his works as objects of meditation that every viewer will interpret according to personal experience; he sought to inspire a contemplative reaction to reality through the integration of materials unexpected in fine art. The act of contemplation is also inspired by the grand scale of much of Tàpies’s work. For example, the two panels of the gestural and atmospheric Ambroisie, completed nearly 30 years after Great Painting, extend the painted space to completely encompass the viewer.
These images often resemble walls that have been marred by human intervention and the passage of time: the scumbled gray and white surface of Ambroisie, for example, suggests concrete that has been scrawled with graffiti. In Great Painting, an ocher skin appears to hang off the surface of the canvas; violence is suggested by the gouge and puncture marks in the dense stratum. These markings recall the scribbling of graffiti, perhaps referring to the public walls covered with slogans and images of protest that the artist saw as a youth in Catalonia—a region in Spain that experienced the harshest repression under dictator Francisco Franco. Tàpies called walls the “witnesses of the martyrdoms and inhuman sufferings inflicted on our people.”1Great Painting suggests the artist’s poetic memorial to those who have perished and those who have endured.
Jennifer Blessing

Antoni Tàpies, La pratique de l’art (Paris: Gallimard, 1974), p. 59.

BOOK – WALL 1990
Author Antoni Tàpies
Mixed Media on Wood
Dimensions: 250 x 530 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Acrylic and Marble on Board
Dimensions: 150 x 150 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Paint, Varnish, Pencil and Collage on Canvas
Dimensions: 225 x 601 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Acrylic on Board
Dimensions: 199.8 x 199.9 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Mixed Media on Wood
Dimensions: 33,5 x 67,5 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Mixed Media and Assemblage on Wood
Dimensions: 200 x 260 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

"I approach all of my work with the same spirit," responds Antoni Tapies to a query about his printmaking; the only difference is that a master craftsman is by his side as he develops his relationship with the stone or plate. Tapies explains that a rich dialogue unfolds with the master printers, and observes that the opportunity to work with others offers him "a larger view." Almost by definition, however, printmaking offers other differences, in particular the physical surroundings of the print workshop rather than the artist's studio, and the world of unfamiliar materials and processes. However, neither ink and paper, nor plates, stones, or printing presses inhibit Tapies. His ideas invariably present technical challenges to his printers. Meeting them is an adventure, as evidenced by the excitement of both artist and printers as they recount innovative processes that led to an oeuvre of over one thousand printed works. Although they possess unique characteristics, these works are best viewed in the context of Tapies's long career as an artist involved with painting, assemblage, and sculpture.

When those with an interest in the visual arts think about Spain in the modern period, the names of Pablo Picasso, Joan Miro, and Salvador Dali come to mind, followed in quick succession by thoughts of Franco, the Spanish Civil War, and Picasso's Guernica. Recently contemporary Spain has gained attention: it has a place in the European community and in the international art world, and it boasts new modern art museums, a successful art fair, and a roster of celebrity artists. The life and work of Antoni Tapies interconnect with all of these phenomena. His finely tuned responsiveness has put him in constant dialogue with the art and society surrounding him, and this exchange is fundamental to his work.
   Born in 1923 in Barcelona, Tapies was a teenager while the Spanish Civil War raged in 1936 - 1939. Catalonia, the area of Spain of which Barcelona is the capital, was among the final strongholds of resistance to Franco's troops. After the war Franco was quick to thwart any potential resistance there by forbidding that proud culture's very foundation: the Catalan language. Tapies's family had strong cultural and political links to Barcelona and its Catalan culture. His upbringing was comfortably bourgeois, as well as liberal and intellectual. Book-publishing and bookselling had long been professions of his mother's family; and his father, a lawyer, wrote novels, although unpublished.
   Tapies displayed artistic talent as a youth but was urged by his family to follow his father into the legal profession. While studying law, the young Tapies continued his painting and drawing. In the early 1940s, however, he suffered from a serious lung infection and was required to convalesce for almost two years. This period, which provided time for drawing, music, and reading, as well as deep reflection, would prove life-altering. During certain episodes he felt close to madness, experiencing almost mystical revelations that he believes reflected deeply personal intuitions. Such revelations call to mind the hallucinatory episodes of the Surrealists, who sought levels of reality that were more authentic than those available in the natural world. And it was Surrealism, with its exploration of the subconscious, that provided the foundation of Tapies's thinking during the formative years after he had abandoned his law studies in 1946 and turned definitively to art.
   In Barcelona in the late 1940s there was a small group of artists and other intellectuals
who reacted against the conservative atmosphere of the cultural life of the city and hoped to continue the avant-garde explorations that had preceded the war. This group was encouraged by the presence of Joan Prats (1891-1970), a commercial hat-maker, who as a collector and patron of the arts played an important role in avant-garde circles. Tapies pays homage to him in a lithograph of 1975 (pl. 36). It was Prats who introduced Tapies to the paintings of Miro in his private collection and finally, in 1948, to Miro himself.
   Joan Brossa (b. 1919), the Catalan Surrealist poet and dramatist of Tapies's generation, was the inspiration of the painters and literary figures who in 1948 founded Dau at jet, an underground journal of art and poetry. His sophistication and adventurous spirit would prove extremely invigorating for Tapies in his early artistic career, and the two men created a dialogue that has lasted throughout their lives. During a time in the late 1940s and early 1950s, Brossa even gave titles to Tapies's work, a common practice with Surrealist poets and painters.

   Frustrated by Spain s political and intellectual isolation, and hoping to find a serious dealer for his work, Tapies went to Paris on a ten-month scholarship in 1950-51. He met
Picasso and in general was greatly stimulated, but his efforts to find a dealer led only to disappointment. He returned to Barcelona and to what, after a relatively brief period of struggle, would be a decade in which he defined himself artistically and met with increasing success.
   From his involvement with Surrealism Tapies evolved a deeply Romantic view of art, believing in its transformative nature and thus its importance in the world. He has said, "The basic questions, the whole new vision of the world which stimulated me, were things that I experienced very intensely during the 1940s and early 1950s, when the desperate situations of the terrible postwar years made us profoundly sensitive to the great themes of existence and social co-existence." 2 The process of Surrealist automatism, in which an artist allows spontaneous gesture to be the carrier for unconscious thoughts and feelings, became fundamental to his creative process. "I have to enter into a sort of trance that will give me the feeling that my work is being guided by a cosmic force," 3 he has said. "In the end, the work itself takes over, and you don't even know you're working." 4Tapies incorporated this intuitive method in the 1950s, when he experimented with novel materials for his paintings. He combined marble dust, sand, pigment, varnish, and latex to create thick, rough, gray surfaces that resembled cement. These works were hanging objects more than painted canvases. They displayed scars suggesting fossils, and cracks and fissures that seemed to be an organic effect of an elemental process. Tapies 's "Matter Paintings," as they were called, seemed impervious and confrontational.5
   Matter Painting, derived from automatism, was one manifestation of an art of spontaneous abstraction that was widespread in the 1950s. Under such various labels as "Informel," "Tachisme," "Art Autre," and in Japan, "Gutai," these styles parallelled Abstract Expressionism in America and constituted an international phenomenon. Stressing the individual exploration of the unconscious, which was "acted out" with paint on canvas, this work was linked to the philosophy of Existentialism, wherein responsibility for action resided with the individual.
In France Jean Dubuffet and Jean Fautrier worked with dense surfaces comparable to those of Tapies. Other artists were also often exhibited with him, including the Paris-based Wols, Henri Michaux, Georges Mathieu, and Jean-Paul Riopelle; the Italians Alberto Burri, Giuseppe Santomaso, Lucio Fontana, Enrico Donati, and Emilio Vedova; the Germans Emil Schumacher and K. E Dahmen; and Cobra artists Asger Jorn, Karel Appel, and Pierre Alechinsky.
Spanish artists working in the Informel style (the most widely used European term for
this phenomenon) included painters Antonio Saura and Manolo Millares and sculptor
Eduardo Chilida, along with Tapies. But their version of the style was interpreted as being distinctly Spanish, with a Romantic undercurrent that called to mind visionary aspects of Catholic mysticism, the somber color and parched dryness of the Spanish landscape, a preoccupation with death manifested in the blood and violence of bullfights, the tragedy of civil war, and the resulting despair of political oppression 6 and intellectual isolation.
  Spanish Informal, which received more attention outside Spain than any other move
ment in the Franco era, is now perceived as having been used for the government's political agenda. Since abstract art was unfathomable to most and therefore harmless in terms of offering dissenting content, the Fascist government is thought to have exported paintings in this style to foster the idea that Spain encouraged avant-garde exploration. In fact, the avant-garde was ignored in Spain; in some cases reviews of Informal art were printed only in the international editions of newspapers, but not in the national editions. (Coincidentally, some historians have interpreted the export of American Abstract Expressionism during the Cold War as also serving political ends.)
  The abstract style that appeared to be the most vital international movement of the 1950s had by the end of the decade become formulaic and cliche-ridden. The energy of authentic spontaneity became stylized lyricism, as the original Existential impulses, based on the expression of the individual act in an alienating world, were lost. Tapies's work, however, retained its vigor through the introduction of new themes, materials, and compositional structures. Its meaning, reflecting his evolving world view, was enlarged by the development of a vocabulary of images that was tied to both the everyday world and the spiritual realms.

Reactions against the academization of the predominant abstract style were widespread, and Tapies's work of the 1960s should be considered in their context. One new approach was to focus on tangible reality rather than on the unconscious. Tapies's work gave new attention to a human presence and included clear references to the world of everyday objects, both of which contrasted vividly with the relatively barren, gray, textured surfaces of his earlier paintings. Comparable approaches could be found in the work of artists of other countries in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In the United States there was assemblage and neo-Dada, which utilized common materials and imagery. The early work of Robert Rauschenberg and Jim Dine, for example, bears some resemblance to Tapies's aestheticized treatment of mundane objects. In contrast, the thrust of mature Pop Art would diverge from the interests of Tapies and focus instead on commercialism itself. In France artists such as Daniel Spoerri and Yves Klein of the Nouveau Realisme group were similarly concerned with incorporating the everyday world and the human Figure into their work, yet with different emphases. Later, in Vienna, Arnulf Rainer imposed the human Figure on an abstract vocabulary, and in Germany Georg Baselitz reinterpreted the figure in a new expressionist idiom. By the late 1960s and early 1970s Arte Povera artists in Italy were employing "poor" materials in a variation of the language investigated by Tapies, who incorporated straw, string, wire, gauze, and burlap.
   Disillusionment with the Informal style was 8 also apparent in other Spanish art. One
new direction, taken by Equipo 57, involved works based on principles of geometry and harmony that might influence the human environment. Another involved Figuration with elements of Pop Art and mass-media conventions. The collaborative Equipo Cronica appropriated concepts from earlier Spanish art and wove them together with references to commercial culture and politics. By the late 1960s and early 1970s political protest intensified in Spain, as it did internationally. Vigorous dissent was leveled at Franco's government, particularly since it had been reasserting its power with new abuses at a time when its end was clearly in sight. Tapies himself was arrested in 1966 after participating in a clandestine meeting of students and intellectuals that supported the formation of a democratic students' union for the University of Barcelona. His work of the early 1970s displays an outpouring of imagery related to his native Catalonia, the country and culture that Franco had repressed for forty years.
   By this time Tapies had achieved considerable stature. His participation in important
solo shows and group shows, as well as his numerous international honors, made him both a source of pride for his countrymen and a foil against which to react. In particular, artists of the Conceptual movement, situated primarily in Barcelona, criticized Tapies's work for being a commodity in what they considered a corrupt market, and for its references to the spiritual and transcendent, which they considered outmoded. Tapies, in turn, wrote negative appraisals of Conceptual art for its lack of any visual component, and an acrimonious debate ensued in the press. The central events in Spam in the 1970s, however, occurred outside the art world: the death of franco in 1975 and the democratic elections held in 19/ /, the first since 1936.
   By the early 1980s young Spanish painters were gaining recognition as part of an inter
national movement of neo- Expressionism. 11 These developments in an emerging democratic Spain coincided with a renewed interest in European art emanating from New York, the major art center since the advent of Abstract Expressionism. Painting was the focus of this new attention, and therefore Tapies s work remained highly visible. Even as art trends of the 1980s moved toward neo-Conceptualism, his work continued to have relevance as the work of an elder statesman. His development continued unabated: he began emphasizing calligraphy, which underscored his long-standing interest in Eastern culture; he focused new attention on varnish as a material with fluidity, translucence, and the potential to suggest purity and spirituality; and he referred more openly to sexuality, mysticism and death. Sculptural work interra cotta and bronze reflected his attachment to an ensemble of ordinary objects as subjects.
   While the Spanish art world grew in breadth and complexity after the death of Franco,
artistic activity had never completely stopped during his regime. Despite the repressive Fascist government, an art community had continued to exist, on however small a scale: artists worked in styles that reflected international trends, critics continued to write, publishers issued books, and galleries and art magazines contributed to a modest cultural complex. This is the milieu in which Tapies developed artistically.
   In 1990 over four decades of Tapies's achievements were capped with the opening of
the Fundacio Antoni Tapies in Barcelona, in a landmark building designed by Domenech i
Montaner (1850—1923), a contemporary of Antoni Gaudi. The Fundacio exhibits the artist's work, provides space for major exhibitions by other artists and movements, and offers a program of lectures, publications, and symposia, all fulfilling Tapies purpose for it: "to educate people to see the message of 11 contemporary art more clearly. "
The Museum of Modern Art: Distributed

by H.N. Abrams

Signed and Dated 'Tàpies 1963' (on the Reverse)
Mixed Media on Canvas
Dimensions: 163 x 163cm.
Executed in 1963
© 2018 Fundació Antoni Tàpies/Artists Rights Society (ARS), 
New York/VEGAP, Madrid


Author Antoni Tàpies
Paint and Varnish on Canvas
Dimensions: 220 x 542 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Painting, Varnish and Pencil on Paper
Dimensions: 31 2/4 x 47 11/16 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Edition of 60 + 15 EA
Dimensions: 68 3/4 x 44 5/16 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Edition of 75 on Arches
Dimensions: 19 11/16 x 27 9/16 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

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

Dimensions: 33.5 x 48.5 cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona / Vegap, 2006

Edition of 45
Dimensions: 13 3/16 x 19 1/8 in

Dimensions: 50 x 70cm
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona / Vegap, 2006

© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona / Vegap, 2006

Painting and Pencil on Paper
Dimensions: 44 5/16 x 29 15/16 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Painting, Varnish and Pencil on Paper
Dimensions: 17 9/16 x 13 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Painting on Paper
Dimensions: 18 11/16 x 12 13/16 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Painting on Paper
Dimensions: 25 3/16 x 19 1/8 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Mixed media and Collage on Paper
Dimensions: 15 3/8 x 11 13/16 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

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
© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

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.


Author Antoni Tàpies
Assemblage on Canvas
Dimensions: 150 x 116 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Mixed Media on Canvas
Dimensions: 260 x 195 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Paint and Collage on Canvas
Dimensions: 92 x 73 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Paint and Varnish on Wood
Dimensions: 195 x 170 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Paint on Canvas
Dimensions: 300 x 450 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Mixed Media and Acrylic on Wood
Dimensions: 150 x 150 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Mixed Media on Wood
Dimensions: 200 x 270 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Mixed Media on Wood
Dimensions: 25 5/8 x 31 15/16 in
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Mixed Media and Collage on Wood
Dimensions: 200 x 200 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

   Secret messages and ambiguities of meaning underlie the scriptlike writing Tapies employs as a major structural component. Words have been utilized in paintings throughout the history of art, and in the twentieth century this practice has been widespread; major examples are Cubist collage and Surrealist automatism. In the contemporary period Georges Mathieu, Hans Hartung, and Pierre Soulages have created linear markings that take the shape of written signs; and other artists, Cy Twombly in particular, have made writing fundamental to the meaning and structure of their work.
  Tapies relationship to writing —in a handwritten, automatist-derived form rather than
with collaged typography-is tied to his absorption in the complexities that underlie reality, the transformations that constantly occur in what we perceive as reality, and the relationship of that reality to spirituality. In one approach Tapies sets up a field upon which he writes or scribbles indecipherable words, sometimes systematically filling a sheet of paper as if it were a written page. Such notations suggest the profoundly unknowable, as well as the familiar nervousnous of ordinary doodling. Closer inspection often yields recognizable words or letters, as if bits of real experience were caught up in a larger network of incomprehensibility. With these tantalizing clues one feels there might be a hidden code just beyond one's grasp.
   With Graph'umeo et deux croix [Writing and Two CroMeo] (pi. 7), vague horizontal lines serve as guides for Tapies's scratched writing forms, giving them a barely intelligible structure.
   A mouth with teeth is entangled in the random marks at the lower left center, and recognizable numbers and letters are scattered throughout the seeming chaos. A sense of irrationality is heightened by numerical sequences in reverse, though such reversals are a normal outcome of the etching process. The rough, bitten line-another characteristic of etching -contributes to an overall agitation. The sculptural dimension and texture of the carborundum technique give two crosses figural presences, as they are witnessed communicating through the etched lines that link them.
  The 1972 P'uoarra [Blackboard] (pl. 8) represents an object found in several of Tapies s
paintings of the 1960s and early 1970s. When cryptic indications occur on such a common place schoolroom implement, tension is created between the worlds of the unknown and the familiar. The carborundum technique is again employed for sculptural effect, reinforcing a sense of tangibility. In Oeuvre grave [Printed Work] (pl. 9) of 1974, through the technique of lithography, the meaning of the words seems to be revealed by the soft glow of an inner light. But comprehension remains beyond reach, as one strains to understand what appears to be a manuscript page, complete with deletions and corrections.
  Isolating single letters and making them serve as the carriers of the message is another
strategy of Tapies's. When iconically placed they become symbols, while simultaneously registering a certain modesty as simply recognizable units of the alphabet. Some critics have analyzed Tapies's choice of particular letters, most often the "M" as it appears in Untitled (pl. 10). They have variously interpreted it as alluding to death (mart), to the drapery swathed around the Christ figure in the descent from the cross, to the lines in the palm of the hand, or to a woman's spread legs. Often, however, randomness itself is part of a letters meaning, placing the experience of it either in a familiar or in an associative realm of the viewer.
When Tapies brings letters together, meanings vary, intimating something personal or resembling a public declaration, as in graffiti. In Signic [Signifier] (pl. 13) the letters can be understood as a hidden word, or as an A and T between quotation marks. In either case the configurations are elegant calligraphic signs that are soothing in effect. Fora [Go Away] (pl. 14), on the other hand, expresses anger and violence with its harshly drawn letters. "Fora" is the Catalan expression lor go away, and red and black, found here and frequently in Tapies's printmaking, were the colors of the anarchist flag during the Spanish Civil War.
  In certain instances Tapies's letters become specific. One of his most frequent motifs is
the combination of "A" with "T," or the representation of each alone. As with his other disconnected letters, the A and T can be read as merely letters of the alphabet or as having personal meaning. They are not only Tapies's initials but also the first letters in his name and that of his wife, Teresa. In both cases the letters bear an identity that results in their becoming actors in a compositional drama created by the artist. In L'Echelle [Ladder] (pi. 15), a lithograph of 1968, he invents a lonely and vulnerable presence from an "A." The print's large scale relates the letter to life-size and gives it special significance, while an "X" scrawled across the middle becomes a variation of "T," and confirms the autobiographical element. The title, how ever, identifies this "A" as a ladder, an ordinary piece of equipment often appearing in Tapies's paintings.
  In two prints executed ten years apart, Riper It catala I [Catalan Spirit /] (pl. 16), an
intaglio of 1974, and A.T. (pl. 1/), a lithograph of 1984, Tapies's subject remains basically the same, but its characterization changes. Both prints personify "A" and "T" and place them in communication. Esperit catala I utilizes the collagraph technique, wherein burlap affixed to a plate produced letters in relief that duplicate the coarse weave of that material. A.T. is ghost like in comparison, with flowing lithographic letters that suggest the varnish medium that preoccupied Tapies in the 1980s. Here the process of transformation is implied as brushstrokes become letters that might soon dissolve into simple matter. Tapies confirms their specific identity by adding on "a" and "t" at either side of the sheet and at the bottom left. The otherworldly effects and seemingly symbiotic linking in A. T. contrast with the lowly material, factual outlining, and direct communication of Esperit catala I.

The metamorphosizing relationship between the letter "T" and the ubiquitous crossmark "X" in Tapies's work is clearly demonstrated in X de semis (Varnish X) (pl. 23). Signs at each corner appear to transform themselves as they move around the sheet, and in the process anchor the fluid, barely tangible "X" of the central motif. The cross-mark "X," as a variation of a "T" and thus a reference to the artist, is again in X-A of 1975 (pi. 18) and AT of 1985 (pi. 19). Once more the later print is replete with flowing, calligraphic gestures while the earlier work has clearly articulated signs that resemble equations. In addition to representing different periods in the artist's work, the two prints represent different print shops. AT, from Poligrafa in Barcelona, displays the extreme palpability that is typical of intaglio works Tapies has created there. Its dramatic color and lack of margins add to an effect of vivid emotionality and expansiveness that identifies the work with that shop. In contrast X-A, which was created in intaglio with Dutrou in Paris and published by Maeght, achieves velvety surfaces and rich though muted color. Ink is brought out across the margins, creating a subtle framing device that contributes to the print's overall refinement. Clearly, different workshops bring out different aspects of Tapies's artistic personality.
   When Tapies uses the "X" alone, it often functions as a "brand,'' with the artist taking
possession of something in the composition. When applied forcefully, or violently, the "X" also serves to negate. In No. 1 from the series Variations sur un theme musical [Variations on a Musical Theme] (pi. 22), a lithographic spray technique is used for quickly outlining a skull over which an "X" is scored. The "X" serves to identify Tapies and also negate death. A loosely drawn geometric cross enclosing the image implies a link to the spiritual world.
   The branding function is found also in La Grande Porte [The Large Door] (pi. 21). The physical nature of a door is underscored here by an irregularly raised surface resembling
wood fissured by weather. Yet Tapies also creates a persona from this functional structure. Large in scale and rooted to the ground, his door anthropomorphizes into a firmly standing figure. The ambiguity of its shape encourages its interpretation as something mysterious and primordial, or perhaps even a gravestone. An "X," collaged with tape, confirms the artist's possession of the object and his personal identification with it.
   A geometric cross is a further permutation of Tapies's "T." In Ml/2 (pl. 24) of 1984, it
represents the absolute in a pure and evocative black. In AparicLotu 2 [Apparitions 2] (pl. 25), such a cross is both personage and icon. Through collagraph and carborundum Tapies simulates cardboard — even the corrugated ridges visible between torn layers — and adds a touch of the coarse and common. In this print he also writes the letters "a" and "b," which could be interpreted as either random inscriptions on a discarded box, or as part of a universal ordering system. (Actual cardboard is frequently used as a support by Tapies, sometimes flattened out from an opened carton and forming a geometric cross.)
   In Personnage assis [Seated Figure] (pl. 20), a personified geometric cross again can be interpreted as signifying the artist himself. Transformation is implied as the bottom segment mutates into a foot, in a linkage of the cross and the foot that is a recurring autobiographical motif in Tapies s work. A coarse rag and random scribbling are included, and tend to temper the reverent spirituality implied by the large scale and iconic placement of the image.
   In the 1980s Tapies's writing often stressed a calligraphic flow and rhythm. This direction has a basis in his engagement with Eastern art, a source of inspiration since the 1940s. Like yoga exercises and Buddhist koans and kasinas, I attempt in my painting ... to develop a technique which will inspire meditation and ultimately 30 enlightenment," Tapies says. One critic, referring to Zen Buddhism in particular, has pointed out, "The mystery of Zen suited Tapies's mentality, which, without the emotive basis of his childhood religiousness, soon made him feel what he calls naturalistic mysticism, a vocation for mystery and for a mysterious communication with things, without any need to 31 believe in supernatural factors. " With its basis in the intermingling of mind, body, surroundings, and spirit, Eastern philosophy expresses "0 Tapies's beliefs in one essential reality, rather than separate realities.
   Calligraphic line is found in the work of a variety of artists, particularly those of the
Informel generation. (The work of Alechinsky, Soulages, and Franz Kline, among others, all include it.) Tapies himself has pointed out the affinities of his work and that of Motherwell and Mark Tobey, mentioning these artists' interest in Eastern thought and culture. Tapies's calligraphic signs, and his writing imagery generally, usually suggest a hidden communication, even where spare forms and muted tonalities foster contemplative moods.
   In Petit t [ Small t] (pl. 26), Tapies makes gestural strokes that reads as both a character from an Eastern alphabet and a landscape. Similarly, a landscape quality is evident in No. 17 from the series Variation*) our an theme musical (pl. 29) and in En Forme de montagne [Mountain Shape] (pl. 28), here deriving from a configuration that could also be a mathematical sign. Vertical (pi. 27) of 1984 indicates literary narrative, both through the format of a hanging scroll and through the gestures themselves that imply a reading from top to bottom. Cadira [Chair] (pl. 30), another vertical print resembling a wall hanging, seems to contain simply calligraphic brushstrokes on a burlap background. Upon sustained viewing, the brushstrokes cohere into the outline of a chair. What was assumed to be the threads of burlap are actually their printed
impression, taken through monotype. Again Tapies has combined the contemplative and spiritual with the everyday.
The Museum of Modern Art: Distributed

by H.N. Abrams

Mixed Media on Canvas
Dimensions: 97 x 130 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Paint and Pencil on Paper
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Paint, Varnish and Pencil on Paper
Dimensions: 158 x 107 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

Author Antoni Tàpies
Mixed Media on Wood
Dimensions: 114 x 146 cm
© Foundation Antoni Tapies, Barcelona/ADAGP

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


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

"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

Oil with Marble Dust and Sand on Canvas
Dimensions: 79 x 103 1/2 inches (200.7 x 262.9 cm)
Credit Line: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
© 2018 Fundació Antoni Tàpies/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VEGAP, Madrid

In the years after World War II, both Europe and America saw the rise of predominantly abstract painting concerned with materials and the expression of gesture and marking. New Yorkers dubbed the development in the United States Abstract Expressionism, while the French named the pan-European phenomenon of gestural painting Art Informel. A variety of the latter was Tachisme, from the French word tache, meaning blot or stain. Antoni Tàpies was among the artists to receive the label Tachiste because of the rich texture and pooled color that seemed to occur accidentally on his canvases.
Tàpies reevaluated humble materials, things of the earth such as sand—which he used in Great Painting (Gran pintura, 1958)—and straw as well as the refuse of humanity such as string and bits of fabric. By calling attention to this seemingly inconsequential matter, he suggested that beauty can be found in unlikely places. Tàpies saw his works as objects of meditation that every viewer will interpret according to personal experience; he sought to inspire a contemplative reaction to reality through the integration of materials unexpected in fine art.
These images often resemble walls that have been scuffed and marred by human intervention and the passage of time. In Great Painting, an ocher skin appears to hang off the surface of the canvas; violence is suggested by the gouge and puncture marks in the dense stratum. These markings recall the scribbling of graffiti, perhaps referring to the public walls covered with slogans and images of protest that the artist saw as a youth in Catalonia—a region in Spain that experienced the harshest repression under dictator Francisco Franco. Tàpies called walls the “witnesses of the martyrdoms and inhuman sufferings inflicted on our people.”¹ Great Painting suggests the artist’s poetic memorial to those who have perished and those who have endured.
Jennifer Blessing
1. Antoni Tàpies, La pratique de l’art (Paris: Gallimard, 1974), p. 59.

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

A study of Tapies's printed work sheds light on printmaking in Europe generally, and on the broader development of contemporary art there, both of which differ from their American counterparts. In the case of European printmaking, as Tapies has experienced it, there is often one structure that links gallery exhibitions, print publishing, and workshop activity and that produces limited-edition prints and illustrated books, as well as ephemeral printed works such as catalog covers, posters, and announcements. The European publisher frequently has ties to literary and intellectual developments in his country that lead to collaborations between artists and writers in books and periodicals. This integration of arts and letters is not as fully developed in America. Print publishing also functions differently here. A typical American publisher may or may not be linked to a gallery or to a print workshop. He or she may match an artist with any of a number of master printers at various shops. And the American printers are themselves often trained in art schools — a very different background from that of the European artisan-printer, who usually has no previous links to the Fine arts. Tapies's printmaking
has been accomplished primarily with such craftspeople who are part of a long
European tradition.
   In a wider realm, it is enlightening to view Tapies as a European counterpart of the
American Abstract Expressionist since he is of approximately the same generation. Many of the American artists made stylistic breakthroughs and never altered or surpassed their signature styles. For some, premature death interrupted their artistic development, while for others it was the stifling effects of American celebrityhood. In contrast, Tapies's artistic evolution has been long and sustained and has been joined with manifold possibilities for experimentation and enrichment. This development may reflect a greater ease with creativity and the artistic process among Europeans.
   Tapies s printed oeuvre attests to the significant role that printmaking can play in an
artists work, as it influences creative thinking through the assimilation of new techniques. Such new techniques have had an especially fruitful effect on Tapies's work, since he is so attracted to materials and their relationship to content. His approach gives rise to innovation but also respects tradition. For example, he has remarked that he very much enjoys making monumental-sized prints but that their scale tends to remind him that the traditional hand held punt also has its pleasures. Similarly, while he is a master of inventive formats in illustrated books, he also reveres their long-standing conventions.
   Tapies s prints and books round out our knowledge and understanding of his work and
thereby deepen our grasp of his overall mission: to provide a vehicle of meaning and transcendence. Art, for Tapies, is not a decorative object, it is a philosophical system or language that "contains a total vision of the world." 57 He has stated, "I think that the capacity of a work of art to explain reality is a way much clearer and richer —with a much broader range of nuances —than normal language." " Through an intricate fusing of formal strategy and iconographic themes, accomplished through an exploration of surface and symbol, he attempts to make visible a dynamic equilibrium between the worldly and the otherworldly, represented by a continuity that embraces the human being, the world, and the spirit. Human presence can be expressed by a scratched mark, a written phrase, a fingerprint, or a fragment of the body. Everyday objects affixed to or depicted in his work form bonds between human beings and their surroundings. Spirituality is explored through tools of abstraction: large scale, strict frontality, empty expanses, atmospheric fields, and emblematic compositions have mesmerizing effects that transport the viewer. Motifs such as the geometric cross provide specific references, as well as balance, equilibrium, and ultimately, transcendence.
   As the viewer absorbs the individual elements of Tapies's artistic language, allowing for their interaction like notes and melodies in music, or words and phrases in poetry, the resulting experience inspires a sense of wholeness and connectedness that is contrary to the disparateness and alienation in modern life. Tapies has said, "there exists an original Unity or a total and authentic Reality which we share with the universe and all human beings." 11 His art acknowledges the inescapability of bodily functions, the intrusiveness of one's environment, the deep pull of cultural heritage, and the ever-present quest for the spiritual; it does not accept their separateness.
The Museum of Modern Art: Distributed

by H.N. Abrams

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.