Discovery of matter

tapies-02

1956
First solo exhibition in Paris (Galerie Stadler), showing the material-based paintings characteristic of this period. He travels through Italy, visiting Verona, Vicenza, Padua – where he admires Giotto’s frescoes in the Scrovegni Chapel – and Venice. First visit to Switzerland. Michel Tapié publishes Antoni Tàpies et l’œuvre complète. He takes part in the exhibition Recent Abstract Painting (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester), together with Appel, Burri, Hartung, Kline, Pollock, Rothko and others.

1957
Awarded the X Prize Internazionale per la Pittura de Lissone (Milan). He returns to Italy: Pisa, Florence, etc. Together with Michel Tapié, he organises the exhibition Arte Otro (Sala Gaspar, Barcelona), introducing Spain to the work of Pollock, Kline, Dubuffet, Fautrier and Fontana, among others. In Paris, he meets Roland Penrose and Lee Miller. Solo exhibitions in New York, Paris and Düsseldorf. Takes part in the IV Bienal de São Paulo.

1958
In Milan, he opens his solo exhibition at the Galleria dell’Ariete, presented by the poet and art critic Jacques Dupin, with whom he develops a lasting friendship. He meets the painters Lucio Fontana and Emilio Scanavino. He takes part in the XXIX Biennale di Venezia, where he receives the UNESCO Prize and the David Bright Foundation Award. He meets Luigi Nono and Nuria Schönberg, Emilio Vedova, Will Grohmann, Alberto Burri, Shuzo Takiguchi, Yoshiaki Tono, etc. Visits Ravenna and Bologna. Awarded the first prize from the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh; meets Marcel Duchamp, a member of the prize jury. Takes part in the Osaka Festival.

1959
Travels to New York for another solo exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery; meets the painters Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Hans Hoffman, Saul Steinberg and Fritz Bultmann. Michel Tapié publishes the monograph Antoni Tàpies. Solo exhibitions in Munich and Paris. He is selected for the II Documenta in Kassel and takes part in the collective exhibitions 4 Maler. Tàpies, Alechinsky, Messagier, Moser (Kunsthalle, Berne) and 15 Maler in Paris (Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne).

1960
Juan Eduardo Cirlot publishes the monograph Tàpies, and the magazine Papeles de Son Armadans (Palma de Mallorca), edited by Camilo José Cela, devotes a special issue to him, with contributions from Giulio Carlo Argan, Umbro Apollonio, Jacques Dupin, Pierre Restany and Herbert Read, among others. In New Forms-New Media (Martha Jackson Gallery, New York), his works are hung alongside those of Arp, Burri, Calder, Chamberlain, Cornell, Jim Dine, Dubuffet, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Kaprow, Yves Klein, Nevelson, Oldenburg and Rauschenberg. Takes part in the collective exhibitions New Spanish Painting and Sculpture (The Museum of Modern Art, New York), Before Picasso, after Miró (The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York) and Neue Malerei. Form, Struktur, Bedeutung (Städtische Galerie, Munich). At the Tokyo Biennial he receives the Prize of the Japanese Foreign Ministry. Solo exhibitions in Barcelona, New York, Milan, Bilbao and Stockholm.

1961
Travels to New York for his latest exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery, coinciding with the publication of Tàpies. A Catalog of Paintings in America, with text by James J. Sweeney; together with Tapié, he visits the composer Edgar Varèse, whose work he has long admired. In the course of the year, various galleries in Europe and America hold exhibitions of his work (in Washington DC, Essen, Munich, Paris, Buenos Aires and Stockholm). He takes part in the collective exhibitions Arte e contemplazione (Palazzo Grassi, Venice) and Paris, carrefour de la peinture 1945-1961 (Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven).

1962
First retrospective exhibitions devoted to his work: at the Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hannover, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and at the Kunsthaus in Zurich, organised by Werner Schmalenbach, Thomas Messer and Eduard Hüttinger, respectively. He attends the Congress for Peace in Moscow chaired by Bertrand Russell. Spends the summer months in Sankt Gall in Switzerland, where he paints a large mural for the town’s new Hochschule St. Gallen für Wirtschafts und Sozialwissenschaften Schifferstoff. J.E. Cirlot publishes Significación de la pintura de Tàpies. Solo exhibitions in Rome, Stockholm and Caracas.

1963
Awarded the Providence Art Club Prize (Rhode Island, USA). With Joan Brossa, he publishes El pa a la barca, a collector’s book for which he produces twenty-five lithograph-collages. First solo exhibition at the Galerie Im Erker, with which he establishes a long professional relationship, and where he frequently coincides with Eugène Ionesco, Friedrich Dürrenmat and Hans Hartung, among others. Solo exhibitions in Phoenix, Pasadena, Los Angeles, New York, Turin and Paris.

1964
Exhibits eight large-format works, produced between 1955 and 1964, at the III Documenta in Kassel. Publication of the monographs Tàpies (by Blai Bonet), Tàpies 1954-1964 (by Alexandre Cirici) and Antoni Tàpies. Fustes, papers, cartons i collages (by Joan Teixidor). Solo exhibitions in Cologne, Rome, Paris, Toronto, Bonn, Stockholm, Barcelona and Montreal. Takes part in the collective exhibitions Painting and Sculpture of a Decade (Tate Gallery, London) and España Libre (Rimini, Florence, Reggio nell’Emilia, Venice and Ferrara).

1965
Retrospective exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, organised by Roland Penrose. Produces thirty-six lithographs for Novel·la, a new collector’s book in conjunction with Brossa. Solo exhibitions in Cologne, Munich, Solothurn, Sankt Gall and Barcelona. Takes part in the exhibitions Collage and Constructions. 4 Internationals: Burri, Nevelson, Tàpies, Van Leyden (Martha Jackson Gallery, New York) and Weiss-Weiss (Galerie Schmela, Düsseldorf), together with Beuys, Fontana, Klein, Manzoni, Tinguely and Uecker, among others.

1966
Takes part in a clandestine meeting in the Capuchin monastery in Sarrià, Barcelona, at which students and intellectuals discuss the creation of the first democratic university union since the end of the Civil War; after several days’ confinement, he is arrested by the police, together with the other participants, and subsequently fined (the Spanish Supreme Court ratified the sanction imposed on the artist in 1971). Begins writing his memoirs. At the VI Biennale de Menton he receives the Grand Prix du Président de la République Française. The XV International Congress of Artists, Critics and Art Scholars in Rimini awards him the Gold Medal for the moral and artistic value of his work. Solo exhibitions in Madrid, Cannes, Toulouse, Paris and Stockholm.

1967
Travels to Paris for his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Maeght, with which he establishes a professional relationship that continues for many years. He receives the Grand Prize for Printmaking at the VII International Exhibition of Modern Printmaking in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia. Giuseppe Gatt publishes the monograph Tàpies, with texts by Giulio Carlo Argan, Renato Barilli, Maurizio Calvesi, Filiberto Menna, Nello Ponente and Italo Tomassoni. Antoni Tàpies o l’escarnidor de diademes, with contributions from Joan Brossa, Joaquim Gomis, Joan Prats and Francesc Vicens, is also published. Designs the sets for Semimaru, a Noh drama by Yuzaki Motokiyo Zeami (1363-1443), which opens at the Teatre de l’Aliança in Poblenou, Barcelona. Anthological exhibition of his graphic work at the Kunstmuseum in Sankt Gall, Switzerland. He takes part in the collective exhibitions Dix ans d’art vivant (Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence) and Vom Bauhaus bis zur Gegenwart (Kunstverein, Hamburg).

1968
Collaborates with Jacques Dupin on the collector’s book La Nuit grandissante. Travels to Vienna for the opening of his retrospective exhibition at the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, organised by Werner Hofmann. He creates screens from folded and stitched sheets for three windows of the Capuchin monastery in Sion, Switzerland. New anthological exhibitions in Hamburg and Cologne. Solo exhibitions in New York, Paris and Düsseldorf.

© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona

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