Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid (ES)   21 February 2024 - 24 June 2024

Antoni Tàpies
The Practice of Art

To mark the centenary of the birth of Antoni Tàpies (1923–2012), the Museo Reina Sofía and Fundació Antoni Tàpies have organised a major retrospective on the artist. With more than 220 works, including two artworks on loan from the Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, the exhibition shines a light on his career from 1943 to 2012.


A self-taught artist, music lover and bibliophile, Tàpies constantly wrote and reflected on the human condition, his historical situation and artistic practice, particularly on the limits and contradictions of painting. His beginnings were marked by the legacy of historical avant-garde movements and his ties with, until the early 1950s, the Catalan avant-garde group Dau al Set, after which he embarked upon an extensive stage of experimentation with matter — characterised by the use of materials that were alien to artistic practice, for instance marble dust or cement — earning him international recognition. A masterpiece of this period, Porta vermella n° LXXV, loaned by the Fondation Gandur pour l'Art, illustrates this new manifestation of material's expressiveness. 

From the 1960s onwards, the matter present in his paintings began to take on the appearance of daily objects as he employed them to create three-dimensional works. The second work on loan by the Fondation, Relief ocre sur rose, and its deep wounds-like openings attest to the painter's physical and moral pain as halls into autoritarism.

The start of democracy in Spain coincided with fresh materic investigations, the incorporation of varnish and the influence of Eastern spirituality. which would give rise to more refined works elevated with great lyricism. In the last two decades of his life, as one century made way for the next, a sense of nostalgia swept over Tàpies’s oeuvre, with an awareness of his advanced years, death and illness the presiding themes.

Through the selected works, some of which have not been shown together for many years, this exhibition foregrounds the prolific career of Tàpies, resituating his work and influences in recent art history.

C. de Sta. Isabel, 52
28012 Madrid

Find on Google Maps

Works on loan

Porta vermella n° LXXV
Relief ocre sur rose