This Contemporary Art souvenir sheet released on 12th Sep 2011 is illustrated with four stamps depicting the various stages in the work of artist Antoni Tàpies. Painter and sculptor Antoni Tàpies was born in Barcelona in 1923 and began his career as a self-taught artist. In 1946 after abandoning his law studies he began to paint realistic portraits and went on to expressionist compositions made with heavily textured materials and mild strokes. In 1948 he founded the legendary group Dau al Set with artist and poet Brossa, philosopher Arnau Puig and artists Modest Cuixa, Joan Ponç and Thàrrats. Through these he became friends with Joan Prats and met Joan Miró. The style he develops in those years is framed within the \”magic realism\” that is perceived through fantastic and oneiric landscapes. These works show the influence of Klee and Ernst.
In 1949 he presented his works in Madrid for the first time and in 1950 won a scholarship from the French government and moved to Paris. After abandoning Surrealism in 1953, he returned to his matter paintings, in which he used earth to produce incisions and collages and through which he begins to project his inner self. Coinciding with this new plastic stage he exhibits in the Venice Biennale in 1952 and a year later is awarded the Grand Prix for Art at the Biennale of Sao Paulo 1953.
Technically his work is \”matter\” painting but can hardly be classified as informal as the iconographic dimension becomes relevant. His compositions are characterized by the richness of signs and symbols such as crosses, lines, objects, numbers and letters in particular the T of his surname. There is also a strong presence of the human figure suggested or seemingly veiled in the abstraction of his work. He incorporates real objects in his paintings mainly old, damaged or waste, enhancing and spiritualizing them by making them part of his compositions.In 1990 the Tàpies Foundation, which houses an important part of the works by this singular artist, opened in Barcelona.