Political involvement

Bio_politica

1969
In the course of the year he writes texts for various publications in which he reflects on the role of contemporary art in society, and polemizes on certain aspects of art and culture in Catalonia and Spain. Michel Tapié publishes the monograph Tàpies. Retrospective exhibition of graphic work at the Kunstverein in Kassel. Clovis Prevost directs the film Antoni Tàpies, produced by the Fondation Maeght, and J.M. Acarín and A. Danhel produce Malír Tàpies, a documentary for Czechoslovak television. Solo exhibitions in Barcelona, Paris, Munich, New York and Toronto.

1970
Attends a clandestine assembly in the monastery of Montserrat, near Barcelona, to protest against the so-called ‘Burgos Trial’ in which a military court is judging opponents of the Franco dictatorship. Throughout the year he intensifies his production of object-sculptures and his experience in the field of assemblage. In a similar vein he produces the mural Gran esquinçall for the new theatre in Sankt Gall, Switzerland. Publication of La pràctica de l’art, a compilation of his writings and statements. Alexandre Cirici publishes Tàpies, testimoni del silenci. Solo exhibitions in New York, Baden-Baden, Stockholm, Barcelona and Milan.

1971
Produces the suite of drawings and collages Cartes per a la Teresa, subsequently published in book form in 1974. He presents his recent assemblages and object-sculptures, produced between 1968 and 1970, at the Galerie Maeght in Zurich. Collaborates with André du Bouchet on the collector’s book Air, with fourteen lithographs and etchings. Sebastià Gasch publishes the monograph Tàpies. The Rome gallery Il Collezionista d’Arte Contemporanea presents the retrospective exhibition Antoni Tàpies. Opere 1946-1970. Solo exhibitions in Cologne, London, Balstahl, Palma de Majorca, Malmö and Barcelona.

1972
He is awarded the Rubens Prize in Siegen, Germany, coinciding with a retrospective exhibition of his work there (Städtische Galerie im Haus Seel). Joan Miró appoints him a member of the board of the foundation he has just created. Attends the opening of the exhibition Tàpies. Objets et grands formats (Galerie Maeght, Paris). Vera Linhartova publishes the monograph Tàpies. He takes part, with John Cage and Bob Thompson, in the exhibition Concept and Content (Martha Jackson Gallery, New York).

1973
In Paris again for the opening of his retrospective at the Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, the show subsequently travels to Geneva (Musée Rath) and Charleroi (Palais des Beaux-Arts). Intensifies his activity as an essayist, publishing a number of texts during the year in various periodicals. Produces a series of lithographs for the book La clau del foc, with a foreword and a selection of texts by Pere Gimferrer. He also creates the first projects for the collector’s book Llull-Tàpies, not published until 1985 and, together with other artists, contributes to the book in homage to Joan Miró, L’Émerveillé merveilleux. Mariuccia Galfetti publishes Tàpies. Obra gráfica 1947-1972. Solo exhibitions in Barcelona, Los Angeles, Seville, Bonn and Madrid.

1974
Receives the British Arts Council Prize on the occasion of the International Exhibition of Printmaking, and is awarded the Stephan-Locher-Medaille in Cologne. Publishes L’art contra l’estètica, a new compilation of articles and statements. Publication of the monographs Antoni Tàpies i l’esperit català, by Pere Gimferrer, and Antoni Tàpies. Zeichen und Strukturen, by Werner Schmalenbach. Retrospective exhibitions in Humlebæk (Louisiana Museum), Berlin (Nationalgalerie), London (Hayward Gallery) and Swansea (Glynn Vivian Art Gallery). In Paris (Galerie Maeght) he presents a series of monotypes, motivated to a large extent by the political situation in Spain and in particular by the execution of the Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich. Solo exhibitions in Düsseldorf, London, Toronto, Göteborg, Mexico City and New York.

1975
Contributes with a lithograph and a poster to the campaign mounted by various civic entities calling for the abolition of the death penalty in Spain, and participates in various actions organised by opponents of the Franco regime in favour of an amnesty for political prisoners and the definitive return of democratic freedoms. Produces five etchings for the book Ça suit son cours by Edmond Jabès, and a series of engravings for a book by Jean Daive, and collaborates with Shuzo Takiguchi on the work Llambrec material. Solo exhibitions in Barcelona, Zurich, New York, Basle, Seville, Los Angeles, Geneva, Palma de Majorca and Madrid.

1976
Travels to Saint-Paul-de-Vence, where he attends the opening of his retrospective at the Fondation Maeght, subsequently shown at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona. In Venice he visits the Biennale, where he shows in the exhibition Spagna: Vanguarda artistica e realtà sociale. In various texts written in the course of the year he reflects on the condition of the artist, politics and the ethical commitments of “culture workers”, manifesting the concerns of Spanish intellectuals as the country begins the transition towards democracy. A new retrospective exhibition in Tokyo (Seibu Museum of Art). Georges Raillard publishes the monograph Tàpies. Solo exhibitions in Boston, Paris, Geneva, Girona, Munich and Barcelona.

1977
Publishes the autobiographical Memòria personal. In the course of the year he produces posters for various cultural and civic activities. A retrospective exhibition of his work travels to different North American museums (Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Marion Koogler McNay Art Institute, San Antonio; Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, and Musée d’art contemporain, Montreal). Retrospective exhibition of work on paper in Bremen (Kunsthalle), Baden-Baden (Staatliche Kunsthalle) and Winterthur (Kunstmuseum). Collaborates with Rafael Alberti on the collector’s book Retornos de lo vivo lejano. Roland Penrose publishes the monograph Tàpies. Solo exhibitions in Barcelona, Lleida and Madrid.

1978
Retrospective exhibition of work on paper in Les Sables-d’Olonne (Abbaye Sainte-Croix). Travels to New York for his exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery, celebrating twenty-five years with the gallery; visits Robert Motherwell in his house in Greenwich, Connecticut. Julio Cortázar writes the text “Grafitti” for the catalogue of his new exhibition at the Galeria Maeght in Barcelona. Collaborates with Alexander Mitscherlich on the book Sinnieren über Schmutz, and produces eight engravings for Petrificada petrificante, a collector’s book with poems by Octavio Paz. Solo exhibitions in Basle, Madrid, Paris, Düsseldorf, Isernhagen, Sankt Gall, Hamburg and Barcelona.

1979
His book Memòria personal receives the Ciutat de Barcelona and Pablo Antonio Olavide prizes. Elected honorary member of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin. Travelling retrospective exhibition in Karlsruhe (Badischer Kunstverein) and Linz (Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz), on the occasion of which Andreas Franzke and Michael Schwarz publish the monograph Antoni Tàpies. Werk und Zeit. Takes part in the exhibitions European Dialogue, in the framework of the III Biennale of Sydney, and Soft-art. Weich und Plastisch, at the Kunsthaus in Zurich. Solo exhibitions in Mexico City, Amsterdam, Barcelona, Cologne, Miami, Girona, Valencia, Stuttgart and Paris.

1980
In the course of the year, several European museums stage retrospective exhibitions of his work: Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo (Madrid), Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam) and Kunsthalle (Kiel). In the Study Sessions on Human Rights organised by the Red Cross in the monastery of Montserrat near Barcelona he delivers the paper “L’art i els drets humans”. Collaborates with Jorge Guillén on the collector’s edition of the book Repertorio de junio. Solo exhibitions in Zurich, Rome, Lugano, Salzburg, Valladolid and Vienna. Takes part in various collective exhibitions, of note among these being Zeichen des Glaubens (Schloss Charlottenburg, West Berlin) and Umanesimo, disumanesimo nell’arte europea 1890/1980 (Palagio di Parte Guelfa, Florence).

© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

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