Fundació Antoni Tàpies | Barcelona Bus Turístic

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Fundació Antoni Tàpies

A contemporary art centre in a Modernista building

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The Fundació Antoni Tàpies museum was created by the artist himself, Antoni Tàpies, to promote contemporary art. It mainly showcases his own work, but it also holds temporary exhibitions. It occupies an entire Modernista building designed by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner that is very easy to recognise thanks to the Tàpies aluminium and steel sculpture that adorns its roof: Cloud and Chair.

Why visit Fundació Antoni Tàpies?

Founded in 1984, it is one of the city’s leading cultural and artistic centres. It is located in a Modernista building constructed from 1881 to 1885 by the architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner. This building was the first in Barcelona to integrate an industrial appearance and combine exposed brick with wrought iron. Currently, its best-known symbol is the Cloud and Chair sculpture (1990) with which Tàpies crowned the facade in order to raise the height of the building and draw attention to its new identity. The sculpture represents a large cloud from which a chair is emerging – a recurrent motif in Tàpies’s oeuvre that here refers to a meditative, thoughtful and contemplative attitude.

For many years the building now occupied by the foundation was home to the Montaner i Simon publishing house, one of the biggest in Catalonia and Spain. Founded in 1868, during the second half of the 19th century and the first third of the 20th century it issued an extensive catalogue of high-quality publications. Unfortunately, in 1981 it went bankrupt. Subsequently, Fundació Antoni Tàpies started to research the history of the publisher.

Fundació Antoni Tàpies is home to an impressive collection of modern and contemporary art. In addition to more than 300 works from all of Antoni Tàpies’s periods, the basement is home to the artist’s own private collection, including works of art in many different styles from a variety of locations. It features works by Goya, Zurbarán, Picasso, Miró, Duchamp, Georges Braque, Kandinsky and others as well as pieces of Asian, African and Pre-Columbian art, medieval works, archaeological pieces and books from a number of different sources.

In addition to hosting a large collection of Tàpies’s oeuvre and his art collection, Fundació Antoni Tàpies holds temporary exhibitions, talks, conference and film cycles, and issues a variety of publications to accompany its activities. Its library, which specialises in modern and contemporary art, contains one of the city’s most valuable book collections.

 

How do you get to Fundació Antoni Tàpies?

Hop off at the Casa Batlló – Fundació Antoni Tàpies stop on the Red and Blue Routes of Barcelona Bus Turístic and follow Carrer d’Aragó.

 

For the most curious of you

  • Did you know? Tàpies’s work was always influenced by contemporary political and social events. In the 1960s and early 1970s, during the Franco dictatorship, his oeuvre took on a clear social criticism and protest bent.
  • Local’s tip: Fundació Antoni Tàpies holds so many exhibitions and activities that it is worth having a look at its programme before visiting.
  • A must: For fans of contemporary art.