“The artist has to make the viewer understand that his world is too narrow, he has to open up to new perspectives.”
Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona, Spain, 1923 – Barcelona, Spain, 2012) is renowned for his “matter” paintings, characterized by thick impasto and the incorporation of various materials. He pursued art while studying law, and was largely self-taught. Born in Spain, he helped form the Dau al Set (Seven-Sided Die) in Catalan, which was a group of surrealist artists and writers largely influenced by Paul Klee and Joan Miró; as a result, his early work was surrealist. He began to move towards his signature abstraction style after meeting Jean Fautrier and Jean Dubuffet, leading him to join the Art Informel movement. These mixed-media paintings were influenced by the political environment of postwar Spain and explored the transformative qualities of matter in a large-scale, incorporating earth, stone, detritus, marble dust, and found objects. Tàpies also created lithography and collaborated with poet Joan Borssa on illustrated books. He is credited with bringing contemporary abstract painting to Spain.