Antoni Tàpies: Revulsion and Desire

Antoni Tàpies, Matèria sinuosa, 2010 (© Comissió Tàpies/VEGAP, Courtesy of Timothy Taylor)
Antoni Tàpies, Matèria sinuosa, 2010 (© Comissió Tàpies/VEGAP, Courtesy of Timothy Taylor)

Robert Barry reviews Antoni Tàpies: Revulsion and Desire at Timothy Taylor Gallery, London, on view through March 18, 2017.

Barry writes: "There is a remarkable consistency in the work here, made between 1999 and 2011. All eight paintings eschew canvas for wood, often left raw and unvarnished, and share a sepia-toned palette of browns and beiges... they share, too, a frank obsession with the body and its functions. This is far from the idealised body of classical statuary, but a body riddled wth internal torments. The burnt, black smudge at the centre of Matèria sinousa, in particular, seems suggestive of cancer. The resinous, sandy material that these bodies and body parts are all formed from is forever crumbling at the edges, like well-weathered rocks or stale bread."