Antoni Tàpies. Nothing Is Without Consequence


Galeria Toni Tàpies, Barcelona

November 2015/ March 2016
Opening: 26/11/15  19.00 h

“We’re often asked fateful questions: What does that represent? What did you want to say with those blots? Do you think that by using these lines or those materials, people will understand your ideas? By and large, we keep quiet because we give up at the outset due to the impossibility of expressing in a few words – and even of finding the right ones – things we have perhaps been brooding on for years… Generally, the person asking the question wants to know something about a particular work or even about just one sign or a specific fragment. And today, as we have repeatedly said, the meaning of a work is almost impossible to find in that work, because one piece is connected to many others, your own pieces and those by others. To explain one of them means going back over almost the entire history of art of our time.”

Nothing Is Without Consequence

In February 1970, Antoni Tàpies wrote an article in which he proposed to analyse one of his own works in order to give a few clues to the spectator who was perplexed and at a loss at the sight of it. With many detours, digressions and sharp turns, the artist succeeded in substantiating his discourse and proposed a dense and generous analysis that allows us to grasp the fact that every detail is important and that indeed, as the title of his article announces, “nothing is without consequence”…

It is precisely in the details and the small things, in the context and the juxtaposition, in what lies outside our field of vision or far from our centre of attention, that the essential resides. As the reader loses his way in a maze of explanations, he does not immediately grasp that the author is playing with him. The author never truly had any intention of explaining one of his works but wanted instead to lead the spectator into a relaxed and trusting frame of mind. In other words, a state of playful predisposition in which the spectator readies himself to witness a magic show. That innocent state that is receptive to the mysterious is what allows us to believe in the dove that emerges from the handkerchief or in the rabbit that comes out of a hat. Tàpies also appeals to that state of reverence so dear to people from the East, in which the object, however ephemeral or modest it may be, is presented with ceremony and commitment. He sees this ability of the spectator to allow himself to be captured willingly by the mystification of the artist and of art as the sine qua non for truly attaining that meditative state that allows us to grasp the profound sense and real beauty of things.

This is why we have made the decision to allow the smallest and the most humble works to speak about themselves. Isolated or side by side, they refer to each other while remaining different and unique. The Galeria Toni Tàpies is pleased to present an exhibition of small-format works – most of them never shown in public before – that present themselves as a magic trick, a book of poetry or a collection of haikus. An exhibition in which every detail matters, in which the spectator is invited to take part in the game and the ceremony with innocence and candour. For, as we must remember, nothing is without consequence…

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