Figura de paper de diari i fils (Newspaper and Threads Figure)

Antoni Tàpies

Barcelona, Spain, 1923 - 2012
  • Date: 
  • Technique: 
    Newspaper collage and fibres
  • Dimensions: 
    46 x 38 cm
  • Category: 
    Work on paper, Collage
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 

Figura de papel de diari i fils (Newspaper and Threads Figure, 1946) dates from the early career of Antoni Tàpies and is the earliest work by the artist in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía Collection. In it, the material he would repeatedly use in his work over the course of his extensive career can already be seen. From 1945 to 1948, Tàpies made paintings using graffito and grattage, as well as a number of collages with different coloured threads glued to a piece of paper, in this case a newspaper. The choice refers to the symbolic meaning with which Tàpies endows the material. It speaks of transcending the humble, of the spirituality of the material. During this period, his artistic code is characterised by the emergence of a system of symbols: the depiction of the head as a receptacle for the spirit in the same way as primitive artists, and the labyrinth, symbolised by intertwined threads in his collages. These are combined with the use of grattage, in which paint is scraped off the picture surface. Tàpies’s collages are part of his technical experimentation, in which he seeks non-pictorial techniques unrelated to the representation of the real world. The later development of the artist’s oeuvre shows how his work begins this confrontation with the material in order to produce a new pictorial space, conceived as a place which invites us to consider the appearance of reality. Tàpies rejects all formal categories in favour of representation in which there is no difference between material and form: it does not attempt to express an idea using a traditional medium, instead it is the medium itself that is the expression of the idea.