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Antoni Tàpies

New Paintings

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About Antoni Tàpies

Antoni Tàpies (b. 1923, Barcelona; d. 2012, Barcelona) has for six decades refined a visual language inspired by a wide range of sources that coalesce into a complex fusion of materials, gestures, and symbols. His explorations of Surrealist imagery early in his career served as the foundation for an ongoing investigation of the nature of physical objects and their materiality. Tàpies’ work embodies his extensive personal experience and history, as well as that of his native Spain and specifically Catalonia. As Tàpies’ use of tangible materials for making art emphasize physical transformation, spiritual transformation is evoked through signs and symbols drawn from Eastern and Western cultures. Tàpies has participated in three Venice Biennale exhibitions (1952, 1954, 1958) prior to being selected to represent Spain at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993, during which he was presented with the Biennale’s Award for Painting.

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Press Release

  • Antoni Tapies: New Paintings
    PaceWildenstein is pleased to present New Paintings by Antoni Tàpies at 32 East 57th Street, New York City, on view this Friday, April 21 through June 30, 2006. The 17 new paintings are mixed media (acrylic and oil paint, gouache, marble dust, pencil, spray paint and synthetic resin) on wood or canvas. This is the artist’s first exhibition since 2003 when Tàpies celebrated his 80th birthday. In The Parables of Tàpies, a catalogue essay written by Dore Ashton on the occasion of the exhibition, Ashton discusses how history and circumstance have continuously informed and influenced the pictorial aspects of the artist's work. Ashton notes "because Tàpies is a copious commentator, his sources are well known" ranging "over the whole of literature, including origin myths from East and West, philosophy from ancient to modern, art history from the caves through the twentieth century, poetry, magic manuals, and daily newspapers." Ashton also discusses the multiple meanings of the Tàpies visual vocabulary. A letter, for instance, can be read as a monogram, cross, or mathematical symbol. "For Tàpies, the elasticity of symbols is one of his greatest resources and adds immeasurably to his sense of creating magic. In recent years, he has compounded his magic by using Leonardo's old technique...mirror writing," writes Ashton. Tàpies uses this technique in Formació=deformació (2004), one of the works on view. Antoni Tàpies (b. 1923, Barcelona, Spain) first exhibited his work in 1950. Two years later he was invited to participate in the Carnegie Institute exhibition in Pittsburgh and has since been the subject of major solo exhibitions and retrospectives at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1962 and 1995); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1973); Nationalgalerie, Berlin (1974); Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (1977); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1990); Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt (1993); Spanish Pavilion, 45th Venice Biennale (1993); Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris (1994); Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover (1997); and Kunsthalle Krems, Austria (1998). In 1992, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, exhibited Antoni Tàpies in Print. The show subsequently traveled to The Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, Florida, (1992), Detroit Institute of Arts, Michigan (1992-1993), and Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas, Venezuela, (1993). A retrospective of Tàpies’ work was organized by The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid in 2000. It was then exhibited at Haus der Kunst in Munich. Most recently, Tàpies Tierras debuted at the Reina Sofía (October 26, 2004 to November 1, 2005), and later traveled to Fundacion Caixa Galicia, A Coruña, Spain (April 29–June 19, 2005). The recipient of numerous honors and prizes, Antoni Tàpies has been awarded the British Arts Council Prize at the International Graphics Exhibition (1974); the Ciutat de Barcelona Prize (1979); the Peace Prize by the United Nations Association in Spain (1984); and the Prix National de Peinture by the French Government (1985); and the Praemium Imperiale by the Artistic Association of Japan (1990). Tàpies participated in three Venice Biennali (1952,1954,1958) prior to being selected to represent Spain at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993, during which he was presented with the Biennale’s Award for Painting. The artist’s work can be found in public museum collections throughout the United States and abroad including: the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, OH; Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul de Vence; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; IVAM Centro Julio González, Valencia; Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland; Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark; The McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; MACBA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt; and Tate Gallery, London, among others. Antoni Tàpies currently lives and works in Spain. For further information and images please contact Jennifer Benz Joy, Public Relations Associate, at 212.421.3292 or
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Art + Auction profiles Adrian Ghenie in the magazine's March issue. Click here to read the full article.Adrian Ghenie: New Paintings is on view at Pace, 534 West 25th Street, New York from March 8 through May 4.



Dore Ashton

2006. PaceWildenstein. Paperback

42 pages: 17 color illustrations; 11 x 9 ⅞ inches



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