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Mon Mar 5, 2012, 10:08 AM

Antoni Tāpies, 1923-2012

Antoni Tāpies, 1923-2012
The Spanish abstract painter died in Barcelona, aged 88

Antoni Tāpies, the Spanish abstract painter, died on Monday in Barcelona, aged 88, after a long illness.
Tāpies 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 Mirķ, and would go on to found the short-lived surrealist movement Dau al Set (the seven-spotted die) with the poet Joan Brossa.

Tāpies 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 Fundaciķ Antoni Tāpies in Barcelona is open to the public free of charge on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

According to his New York gallery, Pace, Tāpies 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).

Tāpies 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 Tāpies in 2010.


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