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Porta metàl·lica i violí, 1956

Metal Shutter and Violin

Paint on object-assemblage
200 x 150 x 13 cm

In alchemical tradition the ploughed field, water and the snake are related to the fact that the earth renews itself. It is in this sense that the parallel strips in Porta metàl·lica i violí (Metal Shutter and Violin, 1956) and the earth in Terra i pintura (Earth and Paint, 1956) acquire a mutual coherence and consistency with the rest of the artist’s output. The use of poor materials or those which are traditionally considered to be non-aesthetic, such as an old metal door, a dilapidated violin or a mound of earth, also has a lot to do with all this, since the artist sets out deliberately to reveal the spirituality that exists in the lowest forms. Tàpies considers himself to be an alchemist. The violin leaning against the corrugated metal door tells us that a character of spirituality and beauty is conferred upon the material (the “musical” beauty of an apparently cacophonous and ugly object); while the X so characteristically Tapian, which crosses the door, reinforces the presence of the artist as a demiurge able to bestow life upon the inanimate.

Extracts from Manuel J. Borja-Villel, “The Collection”, Fundació Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona: Fundació Antoni Tàpies, 1990)

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