Antoni Tàpies i Puig, 1st Marquess of Tàpies (Catalan: [ənˈtɔni ˈtapi.əs]; 13 December 1923 – 6 February 2012) was aSpanish painter, sculptor and art theorist, who became one of the most famous European artists of his generation.
The son of Josep Tàpies i Mestre and Maria Puig i Guerra, Antoni Tàpies Puig was born in Barcelona on 13 December 1923. His father was a lawyer and Catalan nationalist who served briefly with the Republican government. Due to this, Tàpies grew up in an environment where he was very much exposed to a cultural and social experiences of leaders in the Catalan public life and its republicanism. His maternal grandmother also exposed him to this world with her great involvement in civil and political activities. Tàpies was first introduced to contemporary art as he entered secondary school in 1934. He saw a famous Christmas issue of the magazine, D’ací i d’allà, which contained reproductions of works by artists such as Duchamp, Braque, Kandinsky, and Picasso. At 17, Tàpies suffered a near-fatal heart attack caused by tuberculosis. He spent two years as a convalescent in the mountains, reading widely and pursuing an interest in art that had already expressed itself when he was in his early teens.
Tàpies studied at the German School of Barcelona. After studying law for 3 years, he devoted himself from 1943 onwards only to his painting. In 1945 Tàpies began experimenting with more rinse materials. He would mix oil paint with whiting. At this time he also became increasingly interested in philosophy, especially that of Sartre as well as Eastern thought. He became known as one of Spain's most renowned artists in the second half of the 20th century. His abstract and avant-garde works were displayed in many major museums all over the world. In 1954 Tàpies married Teresa Barba Fabregas. Together they had three children Antoni, Miguel and Clara. He lived mainly in Barcelona and was represented by the Galerie Lelong in Paris and the Pace Gallery in New York. Tàpies died on 6 February 2012. His health had been suffering since 2007.Tàpies was perhaps the best-known Catalan artist to emerge in the period since the Second World War. He first came into contact with contemporary art as a teenager through the magazine D’Ací i D’Allà, published in Barcelona, and during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39), while he was still at school, he taught himself to draw and paint. On a French government scholarship in the early 1950s he lived in Paris, to which he often returned. Both in Europe and beyond, the highly influential French critic and curator Michel Tapié enthusiastically promoted the work of Antoni Tàpies.