Antoni Tapies was a Catalan artist, born in Barcelona in 1923. He belonged to an aristocratic family of the 19th century with a background in book-making. This stimulated his love for reading as he was growing up. During his early years, he suffered a lung disease that made him abandon law school. His first artistic pieces were influenced by WWII and the impact of the atomic bomb. These paintings and sculptures feature dust, earth, matter and atoms through innovative techniques. All these elements were to become characteristic of his painting style. Subsequently, he was influenced by Klee and Miro and increased his iconographic compositions, incorporating more expressionism, intense textures and geometric elements.
In the 1950s, Antoni Tapies was established as an artist of international fame and soon after his work started featuring elements of his personal identity: Catalonia, scriptures and everyday objects. His work was very political and he was not afraid to denounce Franco’s dictatorship through his paintings. In the 1980s, he started exploring orientalism with an emphasis on the connection between nature and humanity. His late works also reveal a preoccupation with the universe and the new generation of scientists. Artistically, Antoni Tàpies has been categorised as a representative of Matter Painting and Art Informel, but he was also influenced by surrealism and abstract art. His paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in major art galleries around the world such as Museum of Modern Art in Paris. His legacy is preserved through the Antoni Tàpies Foundation in Barcelona.