Antoni Tapies

One of the most important and influential living artists, Spain's Antoni Tàpies is dedicated to expressing the spirituality of matter, Tàpies's oeuvre embodies the pursuit and refinement of a communicated experience which transcends the impressions of reality. Over the past four decades, Tàpies has developed a stylized pictorial language steeped in references to the mind and body, Eastern mysticism, and commonplace objects. Though Tàpies's imagery is simplified, the use of limited forms and palette is a conscious reduction of the familiar and tangible. Intrinsically linked to this reduction of form is the use of repetitive imagery. Although the practice of repetition is prominent in the work of such contemporaries as Yves Klein, Ellsworth Kelly and Andy Warhol, its presence in Tàpies's work is not mere simulacrum but an allusion to the transformation of the physical to that of the metaphysical. This phenomena is perhaps best illustrated by Tàpies's graphic work. Surface manipulation, irregular shapes, and empty expanses all lend a tactile quality which resonates the associative relationship between representation and reality. The exploration of surface and symbol in Tàpies's prints is more than an exercise in abstraction; rather it is an attempt to evoke the sublime. For Tàpies, it is through the viewing of his forms that one will attain a truly contemplative state.

Antoni Tàpies's dedication to the expression of meaning has led to an internationally acclaimed career. He has been the subject of major exhibitions held at the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as being the recipient of numerous awards. Tàpies's powerful imagery continues to captivate viewers all over the world and his innovative exploration of surfaces and textures have made a significant contribution to the artistic aesthetic of the twentieth century.