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Biography of Antoni Tàpies

See works in the collection

b. 1923, Barcelona | d. 2012 Barcelona

1923
Born on December 13.
1942–1943
Develops a serious lung illness involving a lengthy convalescence.
1944
Attends the Universitat de Barcelona, where he studies law, later abandoning his studies just before completing his degree. Studies drawing at the Acadèmia Valls in Barcelona for two months.
1948
Exhibits at the I Saló d'Octubre in Barcelona. Meets Joan Miró, with whom he establishes a close friendship.
1949
Participates in Un aspecto de la pintura catalana at the Instituto Francés in Barcelona.
1950
Has his first solo show, at Galeries Laietanes in Barcelona. Participates in the Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. With the help of a grant, moves to Paris, where he meets Pablo Picasso.
1952
Participates in the XXVI Biennale di Venezia.
1953
First trip to the United States on the occasion of his first solo exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery in New York. Participates in the II Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo.
1954
Marries Teresa Barba.
1955
Meets Michel Tapié, one the most thrilling friendships in his career.
1957
Participates in the IV Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo.
1958
Participates in the XXIX Biennale di Venezia, where he receives the UNESCO Prize. Awarded first prize at the Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. Meets Marcel Duchamp.
1960
Participates in the exhibitions Before Picasso, After Miró at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and New Spanish Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, both in New York.
1962
A retrospective of Tàpies's work is presented at the Kestnergesellschaft in Hannover, followed by others at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Kunsthaus Zürich.
1964
Exhibits eight large-format works at Documenta 3 in Kassel, Germany.
1967
The Kunstmuseum Sankt Gallen in Saint Gall, Switzerland, organizes a retrospective of the artist's graphic work. Establishes a relationship with Galerie Maeght in Paris, where he will show regularly in subsequent years.
1968
His production of three-dimensional objects intensifies.
1970
Publishes a compilation of his writings, entitled La pràctica de l'art.
1973
The Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris holds a retrospective of his work, which later travels to Geneva and Charleroi, Belgium.
1974
Retrospective exhibitions of Tàpies's work are held at the Louisiana Museum for Moderne Kunst in Humlebaek, Denmark, and the Nationalgalerie in Berlin. Publishes the book L'art contra l'estètica.
1976
The Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul de Vence, France, holds a retrospective of his work. The exhibition later travels to the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona.
1977
A traveling retrospective is presented at several North American museums, beginning at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, and ending at the Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montréal. Publishes the autobiographical book Memòria personal.
1979
Elected an honorary member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin.
1980
Retrospective exhibitions of Tàpies's work are held at the Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo in Madrid and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
1981
Awarded the Medalla de Oro al Mérito en las Bellas Artes by the Spanish Ministry of Culture. Receives an honorary doctorate from the Royal College of Art in London.
Begins working with fireclay in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France.
1983
Named Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. Receives the Medalla d'Or from the government of Catalonia. Monument homenatge a Picasso is unveiled.
1984
The Fundació Antoni Tàpies is legally founded in Barcelona.
1985
Receives the Prix National de Peinture in France. Publishes Per un art modern i progressista.
1986
The Wiener Künstlerhaus in Vienna presents an anthological exhibition of his work that later travels to the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
1987
Starts producing bronze sculptures.
1988
Awarded an honorary doctorate by the Universitat de Barcelona.
1990
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid presents a retrospective exhibition of his work that later travels to the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. Named an honorary member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando. Receives the Premio Príncipe de Asturias for the arts. Presents his monumental sculpture Núvol i cadira at the headquarters of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, which will start functioning soon.
1992
Tàpies. Comunicació sobre el mur opens at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies and later travels to the Institut Valencià d'Art Modern in Valencia, Spain, and the Serpentine Gallery in London. Named an honorary fellow of the Royal Academy of Arts in London.
1993
Creates the installation Rinzen for the Spanish Pavilion at the XLV Biennale di Venezia, for which he receives the Leone d'Oro. Publishes Valor de l'art.
1994
The Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris holds a retrospective of his work.
1995
A retrospective exhibition of Tàpies's work opens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Receives the Premi Nacional d'Arts Plàstiques, awarded by the government of Catalonia.
1996
A major exhibition of Tàpies's work travels to several museums in Japan.
1998
El tatuatge i el cos, an exhibition organized by the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, features the artist's works on paper from the previous fifty years.
1999
Publishes El arte y sus lugares, which includes texts by the artist and pictures of art works of different periods and cultures selected by the artist.
2000
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid presents a retrospective exhibition of Tàpies's work that later travels to the Haus der Kunst in Munich.
2001
The Bibliothèque Nationale de France in Paris presents a retrospective of Tàpies's graphic work. The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents the exhibition Chillida/Tàpies: Matter and Visual Thought.
2002
Awarded the Premio Nacional de Grabado y Arte Gráfico by the Calcografía Nacional-Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid.
2003
Exhibits at the Kunsthalle in Emden, Germany. Awarded the Premio Velázquez de las Artes Plásticas by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sports. Receives an honorary doctorate from the Universidad Complutense in Madrid.
2004
Antoni Tàpies. Retrospectiva opens at the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona and later travels to the Museo Patio Herreriano de Arte Contemporáneo Español in Valladolid, Spain. Exhibits at the Fundación Marcelino Botín in Santander, Spain, and at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid.
2005
The Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo holds a retrospective exhibition of Tàpies's work. Receives the Lissone Prize for his life's work.
2006
Takes part in Homage to Chillida at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Named Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur by the French Republic.
2007
The EMMA-Espoo Museum of Modern Art inaugurates the first retrospective exhibition of Tàpies work in Finland.
2008
Tàpies's most recent works are shown at Galería Toni Tàpies in Barcelona, Galería Soledad Lorenzo in Madrid and the Waddington Galleries in London. The Galerie Lelong in Zurich, Switzerland, exhibits a selection of drawings and sketches from the 1990s and 2000s. This exhibition later tours to Galerie Lelong in Paris.
2010
Fundació Tàpies re-opens with the exhibition Antoni Tàpies. The Places of Art. Mitjó is installed on the terrace at the foundation; the sculpture was designed for the Oval gallery at the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, Barcelona, but caused a stir and was not installed in its intended location. Volume I of the complete writings of Antoni Tàpies is published in Catalan and Spanish, Memoria personal. Fragmento para una autobiografía (Obra escrita completa).
2011
Galería Nuevo Arte, Seville, inaugurates the exhibition Antoni Tàpies, Graphic Work 1974–1994, and Fundació Tàpies, Barcelona, inaugurates Antoni Tàpies. Colection. His work is featured in the group exhibition Olor Color. Química, Arte y Pedagogía at Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona.
2012
He died on February 6 in Barcelona
2013
Fundació Antoni Tàpies holds the exhibition Contra Tàpies and Tàpies. Des de l’interior, the latter in collaboration with MNAC Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.
During the LV Biennale di Venezia, the Palazzo Fortuny presents the exhibition Tàpies. Lo sguardo dell’artista.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents Antoni Tàpies. From Object to Sculpture, 1964–2009.
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