Top Contemporary Art Figure Antoni Tapies, Dead at 88

A file picture dated 13 December 2008 shows Spanish artist Antoni Tapies during the presentation of his book 'Tapies Writes' in Barcelona, Spain, on his 85th birthday. According to media reports, Tapies died at the age of 88 in Barcelona on 06 February 2012. EPA/ANFREU DALMAU.

Catalan painter and sculptor Antoni Tapies, one of the world’s top contemporary art figures, has died. He was 88.

A statement from the government of his native northeastern Catalonia region said Tapies — whose work has been displayed in major museums across the world — died Monday evening in Barcelona. It said he had been in poor health since 2007.

Born in Barcelona in 1923, Tapies was one of Spain’s main exponents of abstract and avant-garde art in the second half of the 20th century.

“He was the most radically Catalan artist in his thinking, his expression and references and at the same time the most universal in his language and international projection,” Catalan regional president Artur Mas said.

Tapies — who won many awards over the course of his career, including the 2003 Velazquez Prize, Spain’s top art award — was known for sprawling, abstract works that sometimes featured discarded everyday materials and graffiti-like scrawls.

Other trademarks were crosses, and the letter X and number 4, symbolizing the four elements of nature and the four cardinal points.

His most notable works included “Gray Relief on Black” (1959) and “White and Orange” (1967), “Pants and Woven Wire (1973) and his famous 18-meter long sculpture “Sock.”

In 1948, Tapies helped co-found the first Post-War Movement in Spain known as Dau al Set, which was connected to the Surrealist and Dadaist Movements.

You can read the full article via ArtDaily here

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