Antoni Tàpies, Blau amb quatre barres roges - © Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid
Antoni Tàpies. The Practice of Art
Sep 15, 2023 – Jan 7, 2024
Bozar Centre for Fine Arts
Brussels, Belgium

As part of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the EU and on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of Antoni Tàpies (1923–2012), Bozar presents the most important Tàpies retrospective in almost 20 years.

The exhibition, organised by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, in collaboration with Bozar and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, offers a comprehensive overview of Tàpies’ work, comprising more than 120 paintings, drawings and sculptures.

After his self-portraits and works influenced by Surrealism and Dadaism, the exhibition displays Tàpies’ first “matierist” paintings, produced in the 1950s, which incorporate raw materials, marks and signs. But beyond the artist’s experimentation with form and material, which continued throughout his career, the visitor can also penetrate the mystical, philosophical and political dimensions of the Tàpies universe.

Manuel Borja-Villel is the curator of this first Tàpies retrospective in Belgium in almost 40 years. This exhibition, which opens the Tàpies Year (“Any Tàpies”), has its European premiere at Bozar and will then travel to Madrid, at the Reina Sofía Museum, and to Barcelona, at the Fundació Antoni Tàpies.

Bozar looks back on the work of Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona, 1923–2012) with a retrospective that travels through time between 1944 and the 1990s. This is the first major exhibition in Belgium to showcase a complete view on the work of the artist with a selection of 122 works reunited at Bozar for the first time after several decades. From early drawings and self-portraits, the exhibition will unfold with his ‘matter paintings’ of the 1950s and the objects and assemblages of the 1960s and 1970s. It will continue with his varnishes of the 1980s, which he started a few years earlier coinciding with the beginning of democracy in Spain, and will conclude with works from the 1990s, when Tàpies continued the formal and material experimentation that was always at the heart of his practice.

A self-taught artist during the interwar period, Tàpies reflected on the human condition, his historical situation and the artistic practice, especially the limits and contradictions of painting. His very prolific oeuvre is scattered all over the world.