Artist biography

Antoni Tàpies born 1923

Spanish painter, lithographer and etcher, born in Barcelona. Studied law at Barcelona University 1943-6, then gave this up to devote himself to painting. Studied for two months in 1944 at a drawing school in Barcelona, the Valls Academy; otherwise self-taught. In 1945-7 made many works with thick impasto, collages, found objects and graffiti. Took part with other young painters and writers from Barcelona in the creation of the group and periodical Dau al Set 1948. Painted delicate romantic Surrealist pictures influenced by Miró and Klee in 1949-52. First one-man exhibition at the Galerias Laietanes, Barcelona, 1950. Lived in Paris 1950-1 on a French government scholarship, and has since made frequent visits to Paris. Turned to abstract art in 1952 and began soon afterwards to use thick, highly textured impasto incorporating such materials as clay and marble dust, together with incised and scribbled lines, lacerations, etc.; images sometimes evoking doors, battered walls, incised tablets or parts of the human body. Awarded in 1958 the First Prize for painting at the Pittsburgh International, and the UNESCO and David E. Bright Prizes at the Venice Biennale. From c.1970 frequently incorporated real objects such as buckets and pieces of furniture in his works. Lives in Barcelona.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.714-5