Antoni Tàpies in full: an excellent anthology celebrates the centenary of his delivery | Culture | EUROtoday

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Before beginning a piece, Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona, ​​1923-2012) adopted the identical ritual. With the help prolonged on the bottom, the artist slowly rotated in a round method in each instructions. When he stopped, it was the sign that he was already clear concerning the composition and that the time had come to clean the boards or stretch cardboard, play with marble mud, put together colours or classify supplies. The materials chosen trusted the stage of the totally different phases of a profession that lasted for nearly 70 years and through which he made round 9,000 items. Now, when the centenary of her delivery has simply handed (on December 13), the Reina Sofía inaugurates Antoni Tàpies The apply of artwork, probably the most full exhibition that has been devoted to him to this point, with 220 works from museums and personal collections world wide, made between 1943 and 2012. Curated by Manuel Borja-Villel, it’s going to stay open from February 21 to June 24. It will then journey to the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona and can be exhibited there from July 19 to January 12, 2025. This exhibition had a “prequel” final fall on the Palace of Fine Arts in Brussels (Bozar) with about 120 work.

The final main retrospective devoted to Tàpies on this museum was in 2000, with José Guirao as director of the middle and Mariano Rajoy as Minister of Culture. Then the artist might be seen, at all times accompanied by Teresa Barba, his spouse, strolling among the many nearly 100 works on show. The extreme again discomfort that he already suffered didn’t forestall him from making an effort to speak slowly about a few of his most related works. The curator at the moment was Manuel Borja-Villel, the skilled who greatest is aware of the work of the Catalan artist. Not solely did he direct the inspiration between 1990 and 1998, however he considers himself one other member of the Tàpies household, since he lived and labored with them for a few years. It was a friendship that started in 1985, when Borja-Villel wrote to the artist to permit him to write down a thesis on his work. The relationship between the 2 lasted till the tip of Tàpies' life.

The exhibition Antoni Tàpies The apply of artwork It extends throughout many of the area devoted to non permanent exhibitions on the fourth flooring of the Sabatini constructing. In an unique tour with Borja-Villel held final Friday, the person who was director of the Reina Sofía between January 2008 and January 2023 says that all through his life he has curated 5 exhibitions devoted to the Barcelona artist. There has by no means been a repetition, though all of them share the essence of an artist who’s among the many most vital in European artwork of the second half of the twentieth century. Borja-Villel believes that Tàpies is first an artist after which a magician within the sense that he needed to rework society along with his portray. Characterized as a magician he’s painted in among the many self-portraits that he took within the early days of his profession.

The tour via the exhibition is chronological and linked to thematic circles that must do with every of his important and inventive phases. The novel thesis proposed by the previous director of the Reina is that Tàpies labored with the concept of ​​surroundings, that his work needs to be seen as an entire, not in isolation. Each of those phases or circles tries to be a mirror of the successive research that he used all through his profession. Title, The apply of artworkis identical one which the painter put in his first compilation of writings in 1970.

The first circle contains a part of his first works, made between 1946 and 1950. The codecs of this stage are, usually, small, besides Triptic (1949), a portray that incorporates his approaches to surrealism and tasks his deep existential considerations. In entrance of this well-known canvas, the curator says that Tàpies didn’t normally title his works nor did he like to present explanations concerning the contents. He solely broke this rule when the gallery proprietor's insistence was nice and the argument was that the cataloging of a portray ought to have as a lot knowledge as potential.

In these circumstances he resorted to titles that allowed little doubt as to their that means: Foot-shaped matter (1965), Material within the form of an armpit (1968) o In the form of a chair (1968). He signed the works on the again of the portray. He additionally didn’t normally maintain the frames as a result of he didn’t give significance to the packaging, though this rule additionally has some exceptions, such because the body that he himself made for a self-portrait from 1948 that he gave to Teresa, who was his girlfriend on the time. Each nook of the body bears a T, the preliminary of his fiancée's title. The artist used to play with some letters in his work: the A for Antoni, the M for loss of life or the X for thriller, amongst others.

  View of the work 'Wood with a T-shirt' during the presentation this Tuesday.  at the Reina Sofía in Madrid.
View of the work 'Wood with a T-shirt' in the course of the presentation this Tuesday. on the Reina Sofía in Madrid.Claudio Alvarez

Brushes and violins

As you progress via the circles that make up the exhibition, you attain two giant rooms by which large-format works start to look. They are the fabric works by which he paints the canvases with coloured marble mud. The canvas could be changed by a blind or some other materials that permits the inclusion of a violin, a brush or any object that the artist sees match for his speech. Some of the works from this circle have been within the Spanish pavilion in a number of editions of the Venice Biennale or have been a part of worldwide exhibitions in Paris, London or New York. In the latter metropolis he signed with the highly effective Martha Jackson and in Paris with Rodolphe Stadler and Maeght. At this stage, a growth additionally begins available in the market that, in accordance with Borja-Villel, has not suffered any downturns. It can be a stage by which the artist matures as a person. He married Teresa Barba in 1954 and later their three kids have been born: Antoni, Clara and Miguel.

When the commissioner is requested about the kind of individual Antoni Tàpies was, he responds that he was somebody very cultured. He very devoted to studying, music and reflection. He was delicate in his dealings, however with a powerful character and excellent relations along with his fellow artists, though he was a homely man who didn’t like events an excessive amount of. The curator provides that Tàpies had broad tastes on the earth of artwork, but when he needed to level out an vital reference, he would communicate first of Marcel Duchamp and would mark his Spanish inventive roots as El Greco and Zurbarán.

With a lifetime devoted to the experiment, Tàpies was no stranger to something that was taking place round him. “Art is never self-absorbed. For him, a work does not end in itself, but rather continues with what precedes and happens to it, and with what surrounds it,” particulars the curator. Among the works that seek advice from current dramas, consideration is drawn to the determine wrapped in a shroud that emerged in 1993. Tàpies exhibited alongside Cristina Iglesias within the Spanish pavilion of the Venice Biennale, an area from which they may hear the bombings of the warfare of the previous Yugoslavia. The portray, titled Dukkha (1995), refers to lament, a basic idea in Buddhist philosophy.

A man walks near a work during the presentation of the large exhibition dedicated to Antoni Tàpies.
A person walks close to a piece in the course of the presentation of the big exhibition devoted to Antoni Tàpies.Claudio Alvarez

Love for Catalonia

Anti-Franco and a deep democrat, Tàpies was born right into a bourgeois household in Barcelona carefully linked to Catalan nationalism. The show circumstances of the exhibition show details about the democratic struggles of that point and the participation of the younger Antoni Tàpies within the demonstrations. A press clipping reveals how the Civil Guard fines and withdraws the mercedes white by which the artist had traveled to the demonstration. There are a number of works on show that bear the hint of his Catalan, moderately than impartial, sentiment. One of probably the most putting examples is The Catalan spirit (1971), on mortgage from the museum of the University of Navarra. Made with marble mud on albero board, it incorporates a number of mottos that talk of his immense love for Catalonia. In the identical area you may see Tribute to the reminiscence of Salvador Puig Antich (1974). With a easy piece of black wool and a bit of coloured cardboard, it evokes the ache of the execution of the younger anti-fascist.

The exhibition closes with works stuffed with ache and melancholy resulting from his bodily decline and the tip of the utopias he had pursued.

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