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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Texture and Tapies

Like Vicky in Vicky Cristina Barcelona I found myself doing a little research in to Catalan artists while I was in Barcelona. I think that is potentially one of the most annoying things I have written, ever, because I found that film and all of its inane attempts at cultural immersion very annoying. Did you know that Woody Allen didn't know any Spanish music before his film so his soundtrack was just a selection of chance discoveries? I don't think that says anything meaningful about his creative practice, it just explains the hollow, fickleness of his film. Anyway this is not supposed to be a rant about Woody Allen, it is about my discovery of Tapies.

Tapies struck me with his vast, textural landscapes of canvases which attack and arrest the viewer. Tapies is part of the school of materie painting or Art Informel which is interested in the materials of painting. In a world where artists are continually abstracted from that original medium of paint and canvas this return to the fecund possibilities of paint and its textural richness is refreshing.

Tapies' work draws you in to that earthy dream world where paint has the power to create and destroy. Using stone, sand and other bits of detritus his canvases become tactile landscapes. I got in trouble the other day for comparing Tapies with a contemporary Spanish Artist, Miquel Barcelo. Barcelo is less abstract, his work combines the organic qualities of paint with organic forms, but it plays with paint in the same liberal and confident way.

Are they comparable?


  1. Who got you in trouble!? It's wonderful to make unique connections between artists - everyone sees things differently. Great post - that movie annoyed me too!

  2. somewhat comparable. I enjoy Tapies pieces better...

    Thank you for your comment by the way. The funny thing about that image is I was considering taking it down because I was "meh" about it...

    So thanks for the reasurrance