Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona 1923-2012) Cap amb paper encolat, 1987 Paint, pencil and collage on canvas 54 x 65 cm Provenance: private collection, Barcelona Literature: Agustí, Anna. Tàpies. Obra completa, vol. 6, 1986-1990, Fundació Antoni Tàpies and Edicions Polígrafa S.A, 2000, p. 153, fig. 5465
Cap amb paper encolat beautifully unites the symbols and characteristics that define Tàpies’ signature style. Starting off with the depiction of various crosses, recognized as the most enduring symbol throughout his carrer and prominently featured in his most renowned works. Continuing with a subtler, yet equally powerful sign, we find the faint outline of two mouths (one situated in the lower right corner and the other in the lower midsection). Tàpies often incorporated bodily elements into his works to convey different sensorial experiences. The third and final characteristic resides in the backward writing, seen in the upper mid section of the canvas. This method of writing was unique to the artist, giving his paintings a sense of uncertainty and confusion. However, what also imbues this painting with the essence of the artist’s style, is its materiality. The employment of organic elements, such as cardboard, grounds the work in the natural world, while the continuous brushstrokes and earthy hues forge a forceful and poetic connection.