The Surrealism Website
Antoni Tàpies (1923-2012)






Antoni Tàpies was born in Barcelona. His adolescence was disrupted by the Spanish Civil War and a serious illness that lasted two years. Tàpies began to study law in Barcelona in 1944 but two years later devoted himself exclusively to art. He was essentially self-taught as a painter. He later became one of the more famous artists of European abstract expressionism and perhaps the best-known Catalan artist to emerge in the period since the Second World War.
Tàpies started as a surrealist painter, his early works being influenced by Paul Klee and Joan Miró. In 1948, Tàpies helped co-found the first Post-War Movement in Spain known as Dau-al-Set which was connected to the Surrealist and Dadaist Movements. His surrealist phase was short lived, spanning the period 1945-1952 and he then moved to abstraction, working in a style known as 'Arte Povera', in which non artistic materials are incorporated into the paintings.