Fundació TàpiesMy rating: 4 stars+ A museum dedicated entirely to the artist Antoni Tàpies. Get to know this Catalan artist through the English language audio guide for the permanent exhibition – it’s included in the price of admission!
- You should be generally interested in contemporary art. Unfortunately, there is no audio guide for temporary exhibitions, but the annotations on the wall are available in English.
Last updated: 07 Mar 2019 | Celine Mülich
Guided tours: Private tours: information and bookings +34 932 075 862
How to get there: L2 (purple line), L3 (green line) L4 (yellow line): Passeig de Gracia
And what's there to see?
The museum dedicated to the artist Antoni Tàpies was opened in 1990. He and his wife donated many works to the museum – among them paintings, sculptures, books, engravings, and sketches, adding one work every year.
This gives you the chance to experience the different phases and techniques Tàpies went through. You will see sketches form the 40s, paintings from the 50s and 60s, and objects and sculptures from the 90s, too – they are on a rotating exhibition schedule.
Current exhibition: Antoni Tàpies. Political biography until February 24th, 2019
Photogallery Antoni Tàpies
Antoni Tàpies was born in Barcelona in 1923, and died here, too, in 2012. He took up drawing after an accident, which had sent him into a bit of a mental crisis. He ended up quitting the study of law, which he had taken up previously, and lived in a sanatorium from 1942 to 1943 – due to pneumonia. It was here that he began to imitate the works of van Gogh and Picasso.
Starting in 1946, he dedicated himself to painting and turned to surrealism. In 1950, he received a scholarship and moved to Paris, where he met Jean Dubuffet and the “Art Brut”. He, too, began to reduce his art to the bare essentials, and expanded his artistic style by incorporating everyday materials into his artwork. In the following years, he participated in a variety of exhibitions, met artists such as Picasso, and became politically active, too – he used four red stripes, the likeness of the Catalan flag, in his work, which got him thrown into jail for a brief time during the Franco dictatorship.
Tàpies never considered himself a great artist – not even an abstract artist – but more of a realist, trying to grasp reality. Throughout his life, his quest led him to create roughly 8,000 works.
A history of the Tàpies Foundation
The current Tàpies foundation building was created by the architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner from 1880 to 1882, a combination of iron and brick. Montaner, a contemporary of Gaudí’s, represented rationalism, while Gaudí had more of a naturalist style.
In 1984, in an effort started by Tàpies himself, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies was founded and later opened in Montaner’s building in Barcelona.
The building being a bit shorter than the neighboring houses, Antoni Tàpies himself crowned it with a sculpture called “Núvol i cadira” (Cloud and Chair, 1990). The building was declared an historic heritage site in 1997, but was renovated anyway from 2008 to 2010. In this context, the work known as “Mitjó” (Training sock, 1991) was installed on the Fundació’s terrace – you should definitely give it a visit.