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A la memòria de Salvador Puig Antich, 1974

In Memory of Salvador Puig Antich

Mixed media on canvas
200 x 300 cm

With the increase in social protests in Spain at the end of the sixties and the decline of the Franco regime in the first half of the seventies, Tàpies’ political commitment deepened. The Caputxinada [1] event of 1966 was symbolic of this new attitude. In reality, (…) by the fifties his work clearly revealed his political concerns, but what then seemed inclined towards a more or less derivative figuration now had a totally personal character.

(…) In a canvas from 1974, created in memory of the Catalan anarchist Salvador Puig Antich, who had been executed by the regime, his protest attempts to break through the barriers imposed by language. Colour, for example, is not applied with a brush directly onto the canvas, but represented in an almost conventional way through a colour chart that has been stuck on. Beside the colour chart the artist placed a jersey with the sleeves half open, a relatively common motif in his work and which often represents the artist himself embodied in a poor, humble object.

1. Caputxinada: the name given to the group of intellectuals and trade unionists set up in a Capuchin monastery to support the new democratic students union. (Trans. note)

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


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