Tag Archives: painting


17.December – Antoni Tàpies

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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Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona 1991. Photo: Raphael Gaillarde.

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/.

Per la Pau (Peace in Progress) Antoni Tapies

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…

Gerhard Richter - Kölner Dom

7.December – Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter’s opus encompasses a number of distinctly different series. The first paintings I saw in Hamburg (or was it Bremen?) in the 80ies, were his snowscapes. If I had seen these paintings as reproductions in a book or poster, they would likely not have had the impact they did when I stood in front of the large canvas in the museum.

Gerhard Richter - Davos S., 
1981, 70 cm x 100 cm, Oil on canvas

You have to see Gerhard Richter’s work in the flesh! You have to be able to walk up close and then move away from the pieces. And allow the size change the as your perspective changes.

He uses wide brushstrokes to smudge the wet paint and makes it appear blurry. When up close to it, all you can see is vaguely changing colors, but you can’t make out an image at all. When you walk away though, suddenly out of the blur emerges a landscape. So real, you can’t believe you couldn’t see it before. So you walk up close again, and it disappears. The brain can’t keep the image of the landscape when it focuses on the detail.

Gerhard Richter - Italienische Landschaft
Gerhard Richter – Italienische Landschaft, 1967, 105 cm x 100 cm, Oil on canvas

Richter also famously created the glass art for the Cologne Cathedral, connecting the play between color and light to something divine or other-wordly. But to me, Richters use of contrast has had the greatest impact on my own visual language: blurring and sharp edges, color and monochrome, light and dark, city and sea, busy and calm.

On several occasions has a connection between Richter’s work and that of William Turner been made.

But more about that tomorrow….