Antoni Tàpies is one of Barcelona’s most celebrated artists. Tápies arrived on the International and Catalan art scenes in the 1950s, after some time living and working in Paris.
Influenced by the abstract impressionism of the time, Tàpies incorporated waste paper, mud and rags into his paintings, eventually arriving at the use of whole pieces of furniture, running water and girders.
Born and raised in Barcelona, his work and his identity were closely entwined with the city. A strong critic of Spain´s fascist regime under Franco, Tapiès was once arrested for attending a secret assembly that was pro democracy and freedom of speech. By the 1970s Tàpies began to introduce symbols of Catalan identity in his work and in 1974 he made a series of lithographs called Assassins, in memory of the Catalan freedom fighter Salvador Puig i Antich, who was executed, and displayed them in the Galerie Maeght in Paris.
After the death of Franco and return to democracy, he set up the Tàpies Foundation at its current location at Calle Aragon 255, the former Montaner i Simon publishing house, in 1984, and dedicated it to the study and appreciation of contemporary art. True to form, he crowned the building with an installation piece in the form of a tangle of ragged metal netting and aluminium entitled Núvol i Cadira, or ‘Cloud and Chair’. The building is now a cultural centre and museum dedicated to Tapiès’ work and life, and is the location of frequent exhibitions, symposiums, lectures and films related to Tàpies as well as contemporary art.
This is one of Barcelona´s most important cultural landmarks. Lovers of the artist, or of contemporary art should not miss it.