The present group of prints by Antoni Tàpies (b. 1923), form part of a series of large-scale works executed in 1990, when - after forty years of work as an artist and printmaker - the complexity of his artistic language and innovative printmaking techniques were fully developed.
In these monumental pieces, Tàpies groundbreaking use of intaglio techniques like carborundum, embossing, flocking and collage creates a sculptural effect that emphasizes the tangibility of the print and defies the flatness of the media. Tàpies regarded printmaking as a versatile media to develop new artistic ideas, always working in close cooperation and with his publisher and printer.
One can see in these works elements of his distinctive language of graffiti, calligraphy, numbers and parts of the human body which are so characteristic of his style. These prints are exceptional in terms of technical mastery and monumental scale. They are highly ideosyncratic examples of his achievements as a printmaker and illustrate why he is considered as one of the pioneers of Informel and Matter painting.
A further selection of works will be offered in the Old Master, Modern and Contemporary Print sale at Christie's South Kensington on 19 April 2011.