Antoni Tàpies exploded on to the art scene in the 1950s when he began to incorporate waste paper, mud and rags into his paintings, eventually moving on to the point where his works included whole pieces of furniture, running water and girders. Today, he’s Barcelona’s most celebrated living artist, and his trademark scribbled and paint-daubed pieces are sought after for everything from wine bottle labels to theatre posters.
The artist set up the Tàpies Foundation in this, the former Montaner i Simon publishing house, in 1984, dedicating it to the study and appreciation of contemporary art. In a typically contentious act, Tàpies crowned the building with a glorious tangle of aluminium piping and ragged metal netting (Núvol i Cadira, or ‘Cloud and Chair’). The building remains one of the earliest examples of Modernisme to combine exposed brick and iron, and is now a cultural centre and museum dedicated to the work and life of the man himself, with exhibitions, symposiums, lectures and films.
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