Pérez Art Museum Miami to Open Major Retrospective on Antoni Tàpies in February 2015

Pérez Art Museum Miami Sole US stop for Tàpies: From Within, a historical survey of the artist’s personally prized works, including never-before exhibited paintings, assemblages, and drawings. 

MIAMI – January 27, 2015 – On February 6, Pérez Art Museum Miami will open a major historical survey of Catalan master Antoni Tàpies. The first major survey since the artist’s death in 2012, the exhibition is comprised of 50 works, including paintings, assemblages and drawings. Tàpies: From Within features work from the mid-1940’s up through 2011, with notable examples from every decade of the artist’s 70-year long career. All the works were drawn from the artist’s own collection, or that of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies in Barcelona. These pieces, which had personal resonance for Tàpies and remained in the artist’s control throughout his lifetime, offer a unique perspective on his creative process. Many of the works selected have rarely been seen prior to this exhibition, providing an intimate glimpse into Tàpies’ relationship with his practice.

This retrospective was organized jointly by the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya and the Fundació Antoni Tàpies, and curated by former Tate Director Vincente Todolí. PAMM’s chief curator, Tobias Ostrander, worked closely with the Fundació and Todoli to choose the 50 works included in PAMM’s focused presentation of Tàpies: From Within, which is the sole US presentation of the show. The artist’s early “matter paintings” from the 1950s, up through his recent works, emphasize the materials from which they are made- oil paint mixed with dirt and stones, covered with gestural markings. Their emphasis on “poor” materials contrast with the gleaming surfaces of Miami, creating a critical dialogue with the museum and its surrounding context. Ostander also emphasizes Tàpies’ influence on a new generation of contemporary artists also interested in discarded materials and rich surfaces. PAMM will open a commissioned project by Argentinian artist Diego Bianchi on February 19, whose appropriation of worn and found materials highlights the link between Tapies’ work and that of many of today’s contemporary artists.  

“Tàpies’ emphasis on matter, earth and humble materials, creates an interesting counterpoint to our increasingly digital world,” explained Ostrander.  “His works were a response to the Atomic age and new relationships understood between humans and matter. Today we see many artists increasingly interested in surface textures, density and weight, in physicality and the unique art object; all as a critique of the non-materiality of the digital world. In this context Tàpies’ alchemical works become a dynamic reference.”

The survey offers a window into the most important artistic and social developments of the post-war period, as seen through the eyes of one of the most successful abstract painters of his generation. Displayed chronologically, the works reveal the influence of major movements in the art world on Tàpies, from surrealism to abstract expressionism, to conceptual art. The impact of pivotal cultural shifts and world events are also evident, such as the explosion of the atomic bomb, ethnic violence and the AIDS epidemic. At the same time, Tàpies steadfast interest in “poor” materials – such as clay, dirt and detritus – remains evident throughout the retrospective. His characteristically bold techniques are on full display, such as his groundbreaking method of “carving” into his canvases by mixing paint with found materials.

Highlights from Tàpies: From Within include:

  • Fils sobre cartó (Threads on Cardboard), 1946 - a delicate collage represents an early exploration of two materials that would later become established aspects of his practice.
  • Gris amb dues taques negres. N. oXCII (Gray with Two Black Marks, No. XCII), 1959 - textured, mixed-media on canvas conveyed with gestural markings.
  • Tela encolada (Glued Fabric), 1961, - a bold reinvention of a sailcloth accented with paint and folded into a compelling geometric design atop a canvas.
  • Cadira i roba (Chair and Clothes), 1970 – an elegant yet simple object assemblage that defines with the arte povera movement, made from everyday materials found in the artist’s studio.
  • Díptic amb dues formes corbes (Diptych with Two Curved Forms), 1988 - a dream-like mixed media reponse to the figurative resurgence of the 1980s.
  • Atman, 1996 – displays the strong influence of Asian art on his practice, particularly Japanese calligraphy and the structure of folding screens.
  • Sóc terra (I Am Earth), 2004 – a mixture of graffiti-like marks with spray-painted sections, this piece speaks to both the artist’s ecological and spiritual concerns.

Organization and support
Tàpies: From Within is an exhibition organised by Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, in collaboration with the Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, and curated by Vicente Todolí. At Pérez Art Museum Miami, this exhibition is co-presented by Sabadell United Bank and Related Group. Major support has been received from the National Endowment of the Arts with additional support from the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

Sabadell Bank  Related Group
Miami-Dade County National Endowment for the Arts

Related Programs and Events:

Free Public Tours in Spanish
Pérez Art Museum Miami will offer free guided tours of Tàpies: From Within in Spanish every Saturday at 2pm from February 7 through May 2, 2015. English tours are also offered during regular museum hours (times vary). Los sábados ofrecemos recorridos gratis en español a las 2pm de Tàpies: From Within.  To learn more about tours, visit pamm.org/learn/tours.

Museum Circle Preview of Tàpies: From Within
Wednesday, February 4, 7-9pm
Pérez Art Museum Miami Museum Circle members are invited for an exclusive preview of the new special exhibition, Tàpies: From Within. Exclusively for Museum Circle members. To become a Museum Circle member and receive an invitation, visit pamm.org/support

Member Early Access for Tàpies: From Within
Thursday, February 5, 10am-7pm

PAMM members receive early access to the exhibition. To become a member, visit pamm.org/support.

Art Talk: Curator Vicente Todolí on Antoni Tàpies
Thursday, February 5, 7pm

Vincente Todolí, former Tate Director and guest curator of Tàpies: From Within, will lecture on the life and work of artist Antoni Tàpies. Free with museum admission. Space is limited (first come, first seated).

PAMM Free Second Saturdays: "Making Your Mark"
Saturday, February 14, 1-4pm
Study the surfaces in the art by Antoni Tápies. What kind of marks does he make? How do you think he made them and why? On the outside terrace, join in the mark-making art workshop for individual abstract expressions and a collaborative group graffiti mural! Free and open to the public.

About PAMM:
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture, and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. This mission is reflected in the initial installation of its permanent collection of art from the World War II era to the present, AMERICANA, at the new home of the 29-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM). Designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, the facility opened in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013, is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming. The facility features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with sprawling galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab, and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit www.pamm.org, find us on Facebook (facebook.com/perezartmuseummiami), or follow us on Twitter (@pamm).

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Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami. Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. 
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