In Gat the world of people and objects appear on the level of evocation and suggestion. Although the title indicates a cat, little in the picture confirms the presence of this animal. Forms appear abstract and simplified, hinting only obliquely at psychical reality. The composition focuses instead on the process of painting, its effect deriving from textural contrasts, brisk paint application and expressive graphic marks. The autonomy of formal elements is too strong to allow for definitive semantic interpretation. The artist instead explores aesthetic confrontations between different materials and methods of application. Tàpies employs the mixture of powdered marble and glue that has preoccupied him throughout his career, tinting the surface with a glassy yellow varnish. To the edges of the piece incised geometric figures betray the roughness of the materials.
Despite this, his work of the period discloses an intense involvement with the human, or in this case the animal figure. Isolated anatomical references are often employed as symbols of humanity. To the centre of the image, for example, an eye is faintly inscribed, more obscured than revealed by the swirl of black acrylic paint form which it emerges.
Equally we see, in Tàpies' evolved idiom of geometric and numeral signs, the influence of Far Eastern philosophy and particularly Zen. Motifs that refer directly or indirectly to the practice and experience of mediation are a recurring feature of the artist's oeuvre. Here the circle and square are plastic reminders of the absolute.
In the end Gat, enigmatic yet legible in terms of detail, is not simply an exercise in formal values. By allowing diverse aesthetic and semantic elements to coexist and enliven one another, Tàpies leaves the viewer free to experience the possibilities inherent in the work. Its powerful tactile quality produces a highly expressive image, guided by a complex internal dialogue between sensuous and intellectual properties.