Inside the former Editorial Montaner & Simon building, built in the 1880s, one of Barcelona’s finest art museums is located. Having survived over a century of wear and tear, a Civil War, and decades of consistent change, it has been, since 1990, the site of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies. Straddling between Passeig de Gracia and Rambla de Catalunya, it is open from Tuesday to Sunday for the public to enter and study the brilliant pieces by mainly one person.
Related article: Museu Nacional Art de Catalunya
Antoni Tàpies, The Man
Photograph: Martí Gasull, 2008
The name comes from Antoni Tàpies (1923 – 2012) himself, a Barcelona native who was born into a family of authors and artists that gave him early insight into literature and art. From the 1940s until his death, Tàpies exhibited his artwork in a blossoming period of success with the likes of Salvador Dali, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko. He radicalized his own work as time went on, adding to this acclaim, and showing them in major galleries in New York, London, Paris, Rome, and Madrid. Towards the latter half of his life, Tàpies published multiple art books, as well as his autobiography, Memòria personal. In 1984, he established the Fundació Antoni Tàpies to set up a platform for contemporary art and its importance in society. Until his death, Tàpies would travel the world and work on new pieces while also being honored for his contribution to the medium.
At The Fundació
“Trousers on Stretcher,” 1971. Collecció Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona.
Most of the work comes from past works of Antoni Tàpies, as well as private never-before-seen works released by his estate periodically, but there are also exhibitions by other artists. Besides paintings, there are sculptures, sketches, and books involving multiple typologies, techniques, and materials used by Tàpies during his career. His work varies from the Surrealist genre popularized by Dali to the social realist genre coming from Tàpies own personal beliefs growing up in conservative, Francoist Spain and expressing the country’s – and continent’s – transition to a liberal democratic place.
The School Of Tàpies
Photo via Pixabay
It is a museum not just for adults and aspiring artists, but also for school children to get in touch with the medium. Their programs include structured classes for each age group to understand art and the different forms of it. From the basic to the complex, students are exposed to ideas that an artist is influenced by in the way they work. Adults that have an interest in art can also take part in their own workshops and full exposure to Tàpies’ style of work so they can improve on their own method.
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Tàpies left behind a catalog of brilliant artwork for everybody, especially for the younger generations in Catalonia and all of Spain. Inside a building that is a piece of Modernistic architecture, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies is part museum, part school to educate the public about the past of when art was king and people who painted, sculpted, and wrote were the global superstars of their time.
*Main photo by *chiwai* via VisualHunt
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