Antoni Tapiès born in Barcelona in 1923 was a painter and sculptor. He was one of the principal faces of informal art and was known for his practice that incorporates found objects and natural materials. From a young age, he developed artistic abilities but chose to study law in parallel to painting and drawing. Tapiès was very much impacted by the Spanish civil war and it is during this period that he turned to art. Social themes and political philosophy influenced his works. In 1943 he studied drawing at the Valls Academy before dedicating himself to painting. His first solo exhibition was in 1950 at the Galeries Layetanas of Barcelona. The artist’s works tended more towards abstraction and he integrated organic vegetal materials, soil and stone debris.

In the mid 50s he was awarded international prizes and was a scholar of the French government. He participated in the Venice Biennale and collaborated with Enrique Tábara, Antonio Saura and Manolo Millares. In the 70s he integrated more voluminous materials such as furniture. Lacerations can often be found in his works that he qualifies as « battle fields where wounds are multiplied to infinity. » It is by mixing glue and coloring and associating the mixture with other materials that the artist found his medium. Typography, graffiti, crosses and stains undergo various forms and he uses little color.

Tapiès has received numerous prizes and distinctions including the Wolf Foundation Prize (1981), the gold medal of the généralité de Catalogne (1983), the Prix Prince des Asturies pour les arts (1990), the UNESCO Picasso Medal (1993) and the Velázquez Prize of fine arts (2003). In recognition of his artistic career, the king Juan Carlos the 1st gave him the title of marquis of Tapiès the 9th of April 2010. The Tapiès Foundation was created in 1984 in Barcelona. He died in 2012.

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Antoni Tapies
Photo Credit : © Fabrice Gibert