New York

Antoni Tàpies

Pace Wildenstein

There is a striking contrast between the sobriety of the works in Antoni Tàpies’ retrospective at the Guggenheim and the angry intensity of the recent paintings exhibited at PaceWildenstein. In the gallery show, Tàpies’ famous marble-dust paintings (he has compared their surfaces to what André Breton called Leonardo’s “paranoid wall”) have been aggressively marked, even violently mashed. Found objects and imprints of found objects abound. In 3, 1994, Tàpies ripped through the “wall,” marking it indelibly with his signature letter, T. There is nothing quite like this in the retrospective; made while Franco was still in power, most of the works displayed in the museum have an air of melancholy that has come to be understood as characteristically Spanish, but is, in fact, a generic response to social and political oppression. By contrast, the more recent works evince a vital late style—the

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