Antoni Tàpies was born on 13 December 1923 in Barcelona. During his 88-year life, Tàpies came to be one of his most important European artists. Here are five things you might not already know about the artist.

Policy in the blood

Antoni's father, Josep Tàpies, worked as a lawyer and was a devoted Catalan nationalist. The young Antoni grew up in a conscious political environment, where the Catalan cultural life was at the center. In 1940, Tàpies began, like his father, to study law, but after three years of his education he jumped and devoted himself to full-time painting.

Dau al Set

Tàpies began his artistic career as a surrealist, and in 1948 he founded Dau al Set, a group wherein artists and writers dedicated themselves to the surrealistic philosophy inspired by Paul Klee and Joan Miró. However, Tàpies’ career as a surrealist was short lived, as he soon moved towards an increasingly abstract design language.

Haute pâte

Tàpies never studied painting and was more or less self-taught. During the 1950s he began to work with a technique called Haute pâte, where colour was mixed with other materials such as gravel, plaster, stone and paper, which made the work surface incredibly thick. In some cases, Tàpies worked with completely different objects, as in his famous work Desk and Straw from 1970.

During the 1950s, Tàpies had become internationally recognised and collaborated with several other Spanish informalists such as Enrique Tábara, Antonio Saura and Manolo Millares.

Not just a painter

Tàpies didn’t let himself be limited to painting however – he also worked with graphics, creating more than a thousand different pieces during his lifetime. In particular, the artist's lithographs received a lot of attention. In his graphic work, simple expression was in the centre, as in Suite from the year 1993.

The political

From the 1960s onwards, Tàpies added more and more iconographic elements to his work. Letters, numbers, signs and symbols took place on the canvas and he commented on anything and everything, from the Catalan situation to the Franco regime's atrocities.

In 2012, Antoni Tàpies died at the age of 88 in his hometown of Barcelona ​​as one of the most prominent Catalans of modern painting, and often reaching significantly high-end prices at auction.

All the works here will be auctioned off on 30 May, when Durán Arte y Subastas’ sale will take place.

All pieces at Duran Arté y Subastas’ can be found here