ANTONI TAPIES Graphic works

Graphic works from this important Spanish Artist.

Antoni Tàpies (b. 1923) is internationally respected as Spain’s greatest living artist. He has always lived and worked in his native Barcelona, where the foundation, Fundació Antoni Tàpies, was set up in 1984 to encourage a wider understanding of contemporary art and culture.

Núria Homs of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies has said ‘The driving force behind all his work is a desire to communicate: to create talismans that transmit his ideas to the viewer’. Reaching a wider audience through his graphic work is therefore very significant to Tàpies. The importance of graphics as part of his work as a whole was recognized by the retrospective ‘Antoni Tàpies in Print’ organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1992 that toured to museums in the US, Central and South America.

Since setting up the ‘Dau al Set’ movement in the 1940s with the poet Joan Brossa and the ‘Informal Arts Movement’ in the 1950s in Paris, Tàpies has always questioned conventional forms. He is primarily concerned with exploring the materiality of a work of art and trying to reduce art to its essence. Printmaking opens up a new territory for the artist to develop his ideas and challenge accepted conventions.

Tàpies defies the flatness of printmaking by creating indentations with carborundum, embossing and flocking. His prints often integrate drawing, collage and painting, as well as found materials such as straw, sand and earth. To achieve these innovative techniques, Tàpies collaborates with specific publishers and printmakers. He inspires each of them to achieve new technical solutions for his groundbreaking ideas.

Tàpies was encouraged to produce his graphic work by key publishers Sala Gaspar and La Polígrafa in Barcelona, Erker-Press in St. Gallen, and Galerie Maeght in Paris, Zurich and Barcelona. This exhibition brings together a selection of prints from three of these major publishers.


Tàpies’ interest in literature means he has often collaborated with writers and poets to produce prints published alongside literary works in portfolios. From the 60’s, Tàpies worked with Franz Larese and Jürg Janett at the Erker Galerie in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Having an interest in both art and literature, they created a space where artists and writers could work together. Alongside the gallery, the Erker-Press became a workshop for lithography where artists and writers such as Antoni Tàpies and Eugène Ionesco, Eduardo Chillida and Martin Heidegger, could collaborate. Since the death of of Franz Larese in 2000, this policy of the gallery has continued under Jürg Janett and his team.At Erker-Press, Tàpies worked with the master printer August Buehler using traditional printing techniques on stone. Erker-Press remains one of the few workshops where lithographs are done on stone, as opposed to zinc or aluminium plates commonly used today. He also worked with Urban Stoob, who encouraged Tàpies to use a wide range of unusual and personal materials – such as the vest in ‘Chemise de corps’ (cat. No.10) – in his lithographs.

Duration 05 October 2010 - 25 October 2010
Times Mon-Fri 10-6, Sat 11-3
Cost Free
Venue Adam Gallery
Address 24 Cork St London W1S 3NJ, ,
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