Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Antoni Tàpies dies, aged 88

(Photo: poul webb art blog)
An enigmatic artist who celebrated the most humble things
SPAIN (The Guardian) The distinguished Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies, who has died aged 88, conceived of his work as a form of meditation on "the void" – more specifically, "that play of emptiness and fullness which composes everything and which reveals the meaning of nature". He expressed this esoteric philosophy, partly inspired by Zen Buddhism, through a multiplicity of potent, often paradoxical, objects. In his "matter paintings", Tàpies mixed pigment and varnish with unconventional materials, including marble dust and sand, to create dense, wall-like surfaces that are both blank and teasingly mysterious. He also frequently included cruciform shapes that look less like Christian symbols than negative marks on a child's exercise book, the signatures of the illiterate, or even distortions of the artist's own initial. Clearly he relished the ambiguity. (Read The Guardian's full obituary)

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