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Biography

1944-1948

1944
Begins a course in Law at the Universitat de Barcelona, which he abandons shortly before taking his degree, the most important legacy of this time being the friendship of some of his fellow students: Carlos Barral, Alfonso Costafreda, Gil de Biedma, Alberto Oliart, Joan Reventós, Josep Maria Castellet, Manuel Sacristán, Josep Maria Ainaud, etc. Spends two months studying drawing at the Academia Valls in Barcelona, where he meets the poet and art critic Josep Maria Junoy, whose influence contributes to his decision to devote himself to art. Various portraits and self-portraits from this year have survived, as well as some drawings influenced by Picasso and Surrealism.

1945
Increasing commitment to painting. First experiments with dense materials, obtained by mixing oil paint with whiting. Interested in the philosophy of Heidegger and Sartre, and in Eastern thought.

1946
Leases a studio in Carrer Diputació in Barcelona for a time. Alongside the primitivist and expressionist works accomplished in that moment are added numerous abstract paintings, characterized by a fundamental interest in the matter and a recurrent use of collage and grattage.

1947
Meets the poet J.V. Foix, leading exponent of the Catalan literary avant-garde prior to the Civil War, with whom he establishes a firm and lasting friendship and shares mutual artistic interests. Also meets the poet Joan Brossa, and Joan Prats (who provides him with friendship and support right from the outset) and other members of the former ADLAN (Amics de l’Art Nou - “Friends of the New Art”), who encourage him in his work. Sebastià Gasch publishes his article “Unos dibujos de Tàpies” in the magazine Destino.

1948
Exhibits at the I Saló d’Octubre in Barcelona (Galeries Laietanes). Co-founds the magazine Dau al Set. Develops a growing interest in Surrealism, psychoanalysis and modern science. Meets Joan Miró, whose work he admires, and the two commence a lifelong friendship. Produces his first etchings in the studio of Enric Tormo.

© Antoni Tàpies
Self-portrait of Antoni Tàpies, ca. 1945-47