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Indepth Arts News:

"Antoni Tapies: Images and Imaginings"
2004-03-26 until 2004-06-06
Neues Museum - Staatliches Museum für Kunst und Design in Nürnberg
Nuremberg, , DE Germany

Antoni Tàpies (b. 1923) is considered Spain’s greatest living artist. A Catalonian by birth, since the 1940s he has brought forth a substantial body of work, characterized by an extraordinarily inventive approach to artistic technique. His eightieth birthday last year has provided the occasion for a number of exhibitions. On 20 February 2004, for example, a large-scale retrospective will open in Barcelona. A selection of his works on paper was (and is) on display in Emden and Bad Homburg. The Neues Museum in Nuremberg has taken this opportunity to draw attention to his prints. In addition to the so-called ‘matière’ paintings, for which the artist is best known, since 1947 he has also created a large number of graphic works, in total more than 1,000 sheets. His sustained interest in the print medium can be dated to 1959.

Thanks to a long-term from a private collector, the Neues Museum in Nuremberg has at its disposal almost all the artist’s print editions executed between 1959 and the mid-1970s. The current exhibition will include around half of the 200 works in the collection. It will comprise both single sheets and portfolios, some of which also appeared in book form. In contrast to paintings, which always come directly from the artist’s studio, prints represent a close cooperation between publisher, artist and printer. In the period covered by the exhibition, Tàpies’ graphic works were produced in conjunction with the publishers Sala Gaspar and La Polígrafa in Barcelona, Erker-Presse in St. Gallen, and Galerie Maeght in Paris and Zurich. Characteristic of this group of works is that while the artist remains faithful to traditional graphic techniques – etching and lithography – he simultaneously seeks to expand their possibilities by combining and applying them in a new and experimental manner.

With these prints, the exhibition also offers an insight into Tàpies’ oeuvre as a whole. Although the ‘matière’ paintings are undoubtedly the more important, the artist views his paintings, sculptures and works on paper as equals. They are all comparable in pictorial structure. In fact, Tàpies simply expresses the same visual idea in various media and in different ways. Here, too, we find many of the elements and motifs familiar from other works

Following the presentation of the Rolf Ricke Collection and the exhibition celebrating the Defet Bequest, this overview of the graphic works of Antoni Tàpies is yet another example of the enrichment of the Neues Museum’s collection thanks to private collectors.

A guide to the exhibition is included in the price of admission.

Antoni Tapies
Image from the series "La clau del foc", 1973

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