Obituaries Spain

Antoni Tàpies, 1923-2012

The Spanish abstract painter died on Monday in Barcelona, aged 88

Antoni Tàpies in his studio

Antoni Tàpies, the Spanish abstract painter, died on Monday in Barcelona, aged 88, after a long illness.

Tàpies started painting as a teenager, when he was recovering from tuberculosis. While studying for a law degree, to please his father, the artist attended drawing classes at the Academia Valls in Barcelona. He was influenced by artists such as Paul Klee and Joan Miró, and would go on to found the short-lived surrealist movement Dau al Set (the seven-spotted die) with the poet Joan Brossa.

Tàpies is said to have painted around 8,000 works, and a foundation dedicated to modern art was opened in his name in 1990. In honour of the artist, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona is open to the public free of charge on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

According to his New York gallery, Pace, Tàpies has been the subject of hundreds of solo exhibitions at museums and institutions worldwide, including the Guggenheim Museum, New York; Kunsthaus Zürich; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Serpentine Gallery, London; Jeu de Paume, Paris; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; Haus der Kunst, Munich; MACBA, Barcelona; and Dia:Beacon, New York. A retrospective of his work is on show at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen in Germany (until February 19).

Tàpies represented Spain at the Venice Biennale in 1993 and was awarded the Golden Lion prize. He was also awarded Spain's top honour for artists, the Velazquez Prize, in 2003. Spain’s King Juan Carlos I awarded him the title of Marqués de Tàpies in 2010.

Dorothea Tanning, 1910-2012

Dorothea Tanning, one of only a few women artists involved in the surrealist movement, died on Tuesday 31 January at her home in New York, aged 101. She was perhaps best known as the wife of the surrealist painter Max Ernst, to whom she was married for more than 30 years, but she was an accomplished artist in her own right, creating ballet sets for the choreographer George Balanchine and illustrations for books. Later in her career, she focused on poetry and writing, publishing a collection of poems, “A Table of Content”, in 2004 and another volume, “Coming to That”, in September last year.

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9 Feb 12
18:7 CET


His work was my first purchase of a serious art piece and still my favorite.

7 Feb 12
21:39 CET


"My wish is that we might progressively lose our confidence in what we think we believe and the things we consider stable and secure, in order to remind ourselves of the infinite number of things still waiting to be discovered" (Antoni Tapies)

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