Waddington Galleries is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work dating from 2008 and 2009 by the Catalan artist Antoni Tàpies. His choice of materials continues to be unconventional. Humble, everyday objects such as cloth, brooms, and newspaper are incorporated onto canvas or wood panels, alongside the more traditional media of paint, ink and pencil.
Marks and symbols that are often mysterious and undefined are an important part of Tàpies' artistic language. The letter T, cross or plus sign is one of his most recurring and elusive motifs. This sign allows multiple interpretations, is it meant to be religious or mathematical? A crossing out or a sign of affection? An allusion to himself or to his wife Teresa? We do not know, Tàpies will not say. 'The meaning of a work depends on the cooperation of the viewer. Those people who live without inner images, lacking imagination and the necessary
sensitivity to generate their own set of mental associations, will see nothing at all.'
His works often blur the line between painting and sculpture. He has '…always considered a painting as an object, not as a window as people usually do.' In Protuberancies / Protuberances (2009) rotund forms protrude from the wood, bubbling and swelling as if part of a lunar landscape. Tàpies' three-dimensional approach can be seen most clearly in Tres raspalls / Three Brushes (2008), where three brooms of varying lengths are fixed to a thick, rough ground of sand-coloured marble dust. The middle brush juts out from the edge of the board, creating a dramatic line that dissects the top half of the picture.
Tàpies' work provokes the senses. In Signe d'amiració vermell / Red Exclamation Mark (2009) the arresting, blood red sign of an exclamation mark resonates against a frenzy of monochrome scribbles and markings. The solitary red symbol demands our attention. The tactile quality of works such as Ondulacions i Braç / Waves and Arm (2009), where the solid form of an arm hovers over the pattern of waves that are carved into an earthy, almost
lava-like mass, contrasts with Signes sobre marró / Signs on Brown (2009) where the economy of line gives added significance to the mathematical formula that is brushed graffiti-like onto the simply painted canvas.Read more