Antoni Tąpies, 1923-2012
The Spanish abstract painter died in Barcelona, aged 88
Antoni Tąpies, the Spanish abstract painter, died on Monday in Barcelona, aged 88, after a long illness.
Tąpies 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.
Tąpies 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 Tąpies in Barcelona is open to the public free of charge on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
According to his New York gallery, Pace, Tąpies 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).
Tąpies 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. Spains King Juan Carlos I awarded him the title of Marqués de Tąpies in 2010.