Antoni TAPIES

Antoni Tapiès was born in Barcelona in 1923. The son of a bourgeois family from Catalonia, he started painting after recovering from a grave illness. Influenced by Miro, Klee and Max Ernst, Tapiès would quickly join the abstraction movement after a stint with expressionism. Member in 1942 of the “Dau al Set” group, Tapiès’ works would soon cross the Spanish border. The artist would be a regularly invited guest at most international two-year festivals and Parisian exhibitions. His paintings take on a dramatic aura with torn canvas stained with symbols and graffiti. Bloody fingerprints, garbage and a strange combination of everyday objects give his work a deeply human slant. One can ponder the silence that his pieces embrace, the sign of a grand master and a rarely equaled genius. It is rather piquant when you realize that his name means “wall” in Catalonian, especially when his paintings are so often associated with the dilapidated, graffiti stained walls seen in urban housing developments. But this does not exclude good taste and a certain…efficiency. His work was a harbinger of Nouveau Realism and Art Pauvre trends. Tapiès is without a doubt a legendary artist whose major contribution to the art world cannot be denied. One of the most expensive Spanish artists on the international market today. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Born on the 13th December 1923 in Barcelona, Spain. It was in 1944 he studied law and later painting at the Academia Valls, Barcelona. Held his first exhibition at the Galleries Laietanes, and in 1952 sent exhibits to the Venice Biennale and  in 1953 made his name as a painter at the Martha Jackson Galleries, New York. Retrospective exhibitions of Tapies works in 1962 were at the Soloman Guggenheim Museum,  New York and then the  Kunsthaus in Zurich. Other retrospective exhibitions in Paris, Vienna and at the Museo Espanol de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid were a great success in the 1970's. In 1981 he was awarded the Medalla de Oro de Bellas Arte by King Juan Carlos I in Madrid, Spain In 1984 the Fundacion for Antoni Tapies, Barcelona was created and became a landmark for the painter as he began a period of European and far eastern travels. It was in 1988 he was honoured by the title of Commandeur de Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France and in 1990 he accepted an award of  the Praemium Imperiale by the Art Association  of Japan. His painting at the Venice Biennale was awarded a major prize in 1993 followed by other retrospective exhibitions in later years by a successful and great Spanish artist of the 20th Century. Now at the age of  78 years old he is still painting and lives at his home in the Catalonia hills,  Spain.