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Antoni Tàpies

Antoni Tàpies in his studio in Campins, Catalonia, Spain, November 4, 2002. Photo: Martí Gasull.

MANUEL BORJA-VILLEL

ANTONI TÀPIES was one of the most prolific artists of the twentieth century. His vast body of work—which encompasses several thousand paintings, drawings, and sculptures, from the early canvases of the 1940s to the final sketches he produced not long before his death on February 6, at the age of eighty-eight—represents the tireless investigations of an introspective artist who was obsessed with a handful of themes and objects, which he repeated incessantly, and who was, at the same time, engaged in continual experimentation with materials and forms. Perhaps no other modern artist explored the expressive properties of material as Tàpies did throughout his extensive career. In the 1950s, he began mixing marble dust with his pigments, which gave his painting a distinctive character, as did his later use of varnish as though it were ink. It is unsurprising,

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