This exhibition at the Silos Monastery of Santo Domingo coincides with the major retrospective the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is dedicating to the work of Antoni Tàpies (Barcelona 1923-2012). His major contribution as a painter through a tour of the highlights of his creations from 1943 to date is envisaged in the exhibition. Compared to the ninety works in the retrospective in Madrid this exhibition is comprised of a more modest number: sixteen pieces. The selection is based on the diversity of materials and techniques used by the artist in order to provide an overview of his work over the last fifteen years.
The exhibition programme of contemporary art to be held during the following years in the monastery of Burgos is inaugurated with Tàpies, thanks to an agreement signed by the religious community, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Chamber of Commerce of Burgos. This agreement makes the premises of the old Medieval Art Museum, the oldest part of this historic building, available for the exhibition of the latest artistic creations.
For Tàpies this exhibition space provides the pieces a greater expression as his art has always had a contemplative and transcendental aesthetic that delves into the properties of the material. The Catalan artist analyses the structures of knowledge through the radical questioning of the foundations to which he adds his conception of art as a game. Proof of this are the pieces collected for this exhibition, some displayed for the first time and all from the early nineties, except Drap blanc (White sheet) and Gran Vertical II which belong to the late eighties.
To them we can add the painting painted on bronze Campana (1993), the representation of positive and negative in Libro con dos manos (1997), the object assembly Plancha, papel y cubo (1997) or painting and assembly on wood HA, HA, HA (1993). Also displayed are works on paper Taykyoku (1993) and Tierra de sombra II (1998), the three metre wide canvas Brahmsiana (1997) and the mixed technique on wood Mineta (1999). Added to this are examples of addition of elements such as fabric or rope to the surface of canvas in Triángulo y collage (1991), the piece made with marble dust EMC (1995) and mixed techniques in Óvalo de cartón (1997) and Natura (1996).
The fourteen paintings and the two sculptures in the exhibition stress the additive techniques so characteristic of Tàpies, which connect different materials such as hemp, sand, cloth, rope, aluminium, cardboard, paper, bronze or marble dust.
The seclusion and silence of the monastery and the dialogue between the pieces and the Romanesque architecture consitute a privileged place to find answers to questions raised by Tàpies’ art, one of the key Spanish artists of the twentieth century.