The eye of the artist
From June 1st to November 24th 2013
Palazzo Fortuny, Venice
Antoni Tàpies’ ‘eye’, his way of perceiving things, of looking around himself without limits of time and space, in a striving for answers about the Universe, human nature, art, the mystery of life. A year after the death oft he brilliant Catalan artist (Barcelona, 1923-2012), a key exponent of international informal art, the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Axel and May Vervoordt Foundation pay tribute to him in Venice with a fascinating exhibition aiming to reveal the essence of the art produced by this major figure in 20th-century art.
Tàpies, who in his long life gained the highest recognition, including a gold medal for the Fine Arts from King Juan Carlos, an honorary degree from the Royal College of Art in London (1981), and the painting prize at the Venice Biennale in 1993, constantly sought answers to the mysteries of existence and the common features of humanity, leaving aside genres, time and place; an intrinsic sense, a “universal power” in things from which to draw stimuli and possible lines of development. He explored ancient, modern or contemporary art of various genres and provenance, from Marcel Duchamp to Paul Klee and Lucio Fontana, Wassily Kandinsky to Miró, Picasso and Goya, products of distant cultures such as Asian and African art, plus music, poetry, philosophy and science to “fertilise” contemporary art.
Realised in close collaboration with the Tàpies family, and laid out in the intimate and extremely appropriate setting of the home of Mariano Fortuny – himself a Spaniard and eclectic collector – the exhibition will present a selection of the artist’s key works, reinterpreted within the context of his private collection with the aim of gaining a sense of how Tàpies looked at the world as artist and collector. Alongside paintings by the Catalan artist, there will be a number of works by other artists of the 20th-century, such as Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso, Kazuo Shiraga, Franz Kline,Jackson Pollock and Jannis Kounellis and a number of antique Oriental andtribal sculptures. All of them works from the private home of Tàpies and in many cases displayed to the public here for the first time.There will be some important artists’ books, with powerful lithographs produced by Tàpies in collaboration with writers and poets, and it will be possible to listen to the music of the 20th-century composers who most fascinated him: Schönberg, Alban Berg, Shelsi, JohnCage and Anton Webern.Finally. A tribute to the art and eclectic personality of Antoni Tàpies will be paid by some of the greatest artists alive today who are close to him: Perejaume Borrell, Antoni Llena, Anthony Caro, Lawrence Carroll,Sadaharu Horio, Tsuyoshi Maekawa, Kichizaemon XV Raku, ShiroTsujimura and Gunther Uecker.
Co-produced with Vervoordt Foundation
Scientific coordination Gabriella Belli
Curated by Daniela Ferretti, Natasha Hébert, Toni Tàpies, Axel Vervoordt