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Tàpies. The Tattoo and the Body. Paper, Cardboard and Collages

Traditionally regarded as a minor aspect, a kind of variation of the so-called matter paintings on another support, Tàpies’ papers and cardboards are nevertheless of fundamental importance to his art.

As he himself states it was the matter paintings that derived from the cardboards, and not the other way around. It is significant that the ochre-grey colour of the materials is also that of the cardboards. Through drawing and scraping, Tàpies discovered a painting that was based not on the brushstroke, but on writing and inscription, and which, like the tattoo on the skin, is inseparable from the support. Moreover, Tàpies often conceives his drawings as more or less open series. These are keys to understanding that his work in general does not follow any formal evolution; it is articulated around repetition and the fragment. The aim is not to grasp the whole of a story, but to escape from it, and thus it distances itself from any symbolism of an idealistic nature.