Painter, collage artist, lithographer, commercial artist, draughtsman, sculptor, object artist and publisher
Antoni Tàpies was born in Barcelona in 1923. He taught himself painting and drawing at the age of thirteen. In 1944 he began to study law, but broke it off shortly before his exams, and for two months studied drawing at the Académia Valls in Barcelona. He subsequently devoted himself increasingly to painting and made his first experiments with painting materials, enriching his pigments with Paris white. In addition to works of a primitivist and Expressionist nature, he also produced abstract pictures, using collage and grattage techniques. He later created graphics and sculptures as well. Tàpies first showed his work in 1949 in the first October Salon of the Laietanes Gallery in Barcelona, and in 1950 he had his first solo show there. He was awarded a stipend by the French government and moved to Paris. In 1952 and 1954 he took part in the 26th and 27th Venice Biennales. In his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1956 he showed his characteristic material pictures. In 1962 he was given his first retrospective at New York’s Guggenheim Museum. In 1964 he was provided a room of his own at documenta 3. In addition to numerous other honours, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Barcelona in 1988, and the Golden Lion for his design of the Spanish Pavilion at the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993. Tàpies died on 6 February 2012 in Barcelona.