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Biography

1949-1953

1949
Exhibits at the II Saló d’Octubre in Barcelona (Galeries Laietanes) and at the show Un aspecto de la pintura catalana, organised by Cobalto 49 at the Institut Français of Barcelona and presented by the poet João Cabral de Melo, then Brazilian consul in Barcelona. In Madrid, he shows works in the Salón de los Once, at the invitation of Eugeni d’Ors. Becomes acquainted with various members of the Club 49, founded that same year: the poet Joan Teixidor, the art historian and critic Alexandre Cirici, the architect Sixte Illescas, Joan Prats, etc.

1950
First solo exhibition in Barcelona (Galeries Laietanes), organised by Josep Gudiol; Juan Eduardo Cirlot writes the catalogue text. A special issue of Dau al Set published to mark the occasion includes Brossa’s "Oracle sobre Antoni Tàpies"; Tharrats’ monograph Tàpies o el dau modern de Versalles is also published. With a grant from the French government, he spends a period in Paris, living and working at number 8, avenue Eugénie in Saint-Cloud. During his stay there he becomes interested in Marxism and closely involved in the controversy surrounding social realism. Exhibits in Pittsburgh, selected for the Carnegie Institute Prize.

1951
Visits Picasso in his studio in rue des Grands Augustins, where he meets Christian Zervos and Jaume Sabartés. In the spring of that year he travels in Belgium and Holland. Influenced by Marxist thinking and concerned about the political situation in Spain, he produces numerous paintings on social themes.

1952
Exhibits at the XXVI Biennale di Venezia, and is again invited to take part (alongside Pierre Alechinsky, Jean Dubuffet, Tal Coat, Ben Nicholson, Karel Appel, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell, among many others) in the Carnegie Institute show in Pittsburgh. Another solo exhibition in Barcelona (Galeries Laietanes).

1953
First solo exhibition in the USA (Marshall Field and Company, Chicago). Travels to New York for his exhibition at the Martha Jackson Gallery; acquires a greater understanding of American abstract expressionism, in which he discovers affinities and correspondences with his own work. Resumes the investigations into materials he began eight years earlier, working with earth, collages, incisions, etc. In Madrid for his exhibition at the Galerías Biosca, he meets Vicente Aleixandre. Receives a prize at the II Bienal de São Paulo.

© Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona
Martha Jackson and Antoni Tàpies. Tàpies exhibition at the Marta Jackson Gallery, New York, October-November 1953