Antoni Tąpies (born in Barcelona, December 13, 1923) is a Spanish painter. He is considered a great master artist of the 20th century. After studying law for 3 years, he devoted himself from 1943 onwards only to his painting. He is perhaps the best-known Catalan artist to emerge in the period since the Second World War.
In 1950 he held his first solo exhibition, at Galeries Laietanes, Barcelona. In the early 50s he lived in Paris, to where he has often returned. Both in Europe and beyond, the highly influential French critic and curator Michel Tapié (no relation, despite the similar name) enthusiastically promoted the work of Antoni Tąpies.
In 1948, Tąpies helped co-found the first Post-War Movement in Spain known as Dau-al-Set which was connected to the Surrealist and Dadaist Movements. The main leader and founder of Dau-al-Set was the poet Joan Brossa. The movement also had a publication of the same name, Dau-al-Set. Tąpies started as a surrealist painter, his early works were influenced by Paul Klee and Joan Miró; but soon become an abstract expressionist, working in a style known as "Arte Povera", in which non artistic materials are incorporated into the paintings. In 1953 he began working in mixed media; this is considered his most original contribution to art. One of the first to create serious art in this way, he added clay and marble dust to his paint and used waste paper, string, and rags (Grey and Green Painting, Tate Gallery, London, 1957).
His international reputation was well established by the end of the 50s. From the late 50's to early 60's, Tąpies worked with Enrique Tįbara, Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares and many other Spanish Informalist artists. From about 1970 (influenced by Pop art) he began incorporating more substantial objects into his paintings, such as parts of furniture. Tąpies's ideas have had worldwide influence on art, especially in the realms paintings, sculpture, etchings and lithography. Examples of his work are found in numerous major international collections.
Fundació Tąpies, in Barcelona, is a museum dedicated to his life and work.