We have just returned from a much needed sunny visit to Majorca, and were privileged to be able to visit the Juan March gallery in Palma. Among the Spanish artists whose work was displayed was a favourite of mine, Antoni Tapies, who sadly died last year.

A few of his painting are shown below, but, as often is the case, the photographs are so unlike the real thing, they only give a very poor idea of the paintings. His use of unorthodox materials was amazing, and up close one could see the sand, the scratches, the rags and other collage materials.



Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona, 1923-2012)

Antoni Tàpies’ first artistic attempts began during a long convalescence following a serious illness, after which his increasing dedication to painting and drawing led him to abandon his university education. By the 1940s, he was already exhibiting work that distinguished him among the artistic scene of the moment. Co-founder of the magazineDau al Set in 1948, and influenced by Miró and Klee, he became increasingly interested in iconographic and magical subjects. He gradually began to incorporate geometrical elements and colour studies leading to an interest in matter through the use of heavily textured canvases of great expressive and communicative possibilities. With these works, Tàpies achieved international recognition by the mid-1950s. In the 1960s, he began incorporating new iconographic elements (writing, signs, anthropomorphic elements, footprints and references to the Catalan situation), and new technical methods (new surfaces, use of everyday objects and varnish). Tàpies’ pictorial language continued to develop ever since, resulting in a creative and productive body of work that is admired throughout the world.antoni-tapies-gr