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Fundació Antoni Tàpies presents an exhibition focusing on the influence of Japan on Tàpies – theartwolf

Antoni Tapies - 1992

From 14 December 2023 to June 2024, the Fundació Antoni Tàpies presents the exhibition “Tàpies. The Japanese Imprint“.

Source: Fundació Antoni Tàpies – Image: Antoni Tàpies in his studio, Barcelona, 2002 – Image by Teresa Tàpies Domènech, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license. Taken from:

This exhibition will focus on Tàpies’ interest in the work of some Japanese monks of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries who were transmitters of the teachings of Zen Buddhism, and who developed a critical attitude and a desire to disrupt the scale of conventional values – including those of artistic practice – such as Hakuin, Sengai, Jiun, Torei, Rengetsu. The exhibition will show how Tàpies integrated many of the attitudes, images and techniques used by these artists into his language and into the Western tradition that was his own. It is not a process of mimesis, but of assimilation of a way of working, and also of a vision of the world that the Japanese tradition has managed to preserve in temples and gardens, poems and calligraphy, ceramics and paintings.

This influence is evident in works from the 1970s, and especially from the 1980s onwards, when Tàpies recovered the brushstroke, which he had abandoned in the process of the material paintings, to associate it with inscription, with writing, with ideograms. From that moment on, his paintings moved closer to drawing and became less mural. The exhibition at the Fundació will bring together a selection of works – including paintings, ceramics and drawings from the collection, together with national and international loans – that will show how Tàpies’ approach to Japanese art left its mark.

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