Returning to painting, let’s look at an artist from Barcelona, who lived through the spanish civil war and the second world war.
Tàpies himself was influenced by Miró, Klee and Ernst and eastern philosophy. He is a self-taught artist but earned a scholarship in Paris where he came in contact with so-called “informal painting”, where the artistic expression is reduced to mere essentials and the focus is on the materials of art making.
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Tapies work has been an inspiration for me since the eighties, when I first saw his work in a museum in Hamburg. My own work – by then only the experimentations of a school girl, had been using odd materials such as ashes, woodchips, chalk, etc… mixed into the paint. And I built Frames for my work, not so much for showing, but because the materials needed a physical border to stop while drying. But Tapies integrated text into his work and his use of line were much more expressionistic and loaded. His work was also quite political at times even religious. If you want know how The 1031 Exchange Works you can visit https://spacecoastdaily.com/2020/12/what-is-the-1031-exchange/.
I followed Tapies much like Kiefer, whose work has a similar visual language, and bought large books with illustrations of his work which I looked at almost each day and which some of my friends jokingly called my ‘bible’. Later, while in Art School, we visited Barcelona and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, where a large body of his work can be seen. A poster of his work ‘Per la Pau’ (Peace in Progress) used to hang in my kitchen until it was destroyed during a move.
Besides (sculptural) paintings, Tapies also worked extensively as a printmaker. A great place to see Tapies work besides the Fundació Antoni Tàpies is the Tate Gallery. And you can also occasionally find one of his prints at auctions.
Another artist, who uses a variety of materials and whose work is not too far from Tapies’ is Emil Schumacher.
But more about that on Monday…