Antoni Tàpies

Waddington Custot Galleries

There is a pleasing and amusing disingenuousness about Antoni Tàpies’ sculpture. It looks at small things, easily ignored, but refuses to remain satisfied with the sanctity of intimacy. Domesticity and immediacy are celebrated, but not at the expense a all else. In his book on still-life painting, Looking at the Overlooked, 1990, Norman Bryson picks up Charles Sterling’s term “rhopography” to refer to “the depiction of those things which lack importance, the unassuming material base of life that ‘importance’ overlooks.” His aim is to question the hierarchical relationship that exists between art dealing with such subject matter and work that concerns itself with larger themes. Tàpies’ art asks the same question, albeit in a rather wry manner.

The text for this show of ten sculptures, all but one in terra-cotta, and all made over the past five years, is a statement by the artist dating back

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