13 December 2012

More words from Tapies

image (title not given) from here (an obituary)
"The first thing one has to do is to engage in a dialogue with the materials: They speak, they have a language of their own, and from this the dialogue develops between the artist and his materials. One often has to discard ideas because they conflict with the materials."

"If a thing goes wrong I change it, but I don't destroy it."

"...things that can't be put into words, things which are almost like visions or mystical revelations. It's the colour beneath the superficial appearance of reality, the colour of dream and fantasy, the colour of visions, the colour of emptiness, the colour of space."

"The gods descended from Olympus and installed themselves in our solar plexus. The gods no longer reside in heaven: on the contrary, they were created by the problems and conflicts of our individual and collective soul which manifest themselves in religions, and they still remain within us. I believe that god and many relious symbols are nothing more than human projections. And artists, like poets and philosophers, can help to depict them."
Llibre i grafitti, etching, 1990 (image from here)
"poetry ... has always been very closely bound up with form. You only have to think of Oriental poetry. Calligraphy, too, is a materialization, an idea which has been given form. This applies to typefaces, as well as handwriting. Each generation in so far as it looks for new ideas and tries to express them, also looks for suitable forms. Consequently, every period as evolved its own typefaces; even the paper and the forms of book-bindings have continually change. This means that there is no clear dividing line between the poetry of the word and the poetry of the visual arts, since poetry always requires materialization. This is already apparent in the poetry of Mallarme. [In the coup des.]"

On writing his memoirs: "The memories came flooding back when I started writing. I wrote about the things I could till remember: perhaps there are other things that are also very important, but which I've simply forgotten. When I finished the book the memories evaporated; it was as if they had been erased from my mind. Nowadays, if I want to remember something I have to read the book again."
Journal, lithograph, 1968 (image from among many prints here)
"I've always tried to turn problems to my own advantage. When I'm painting for example, I often find that I need a very thin brush, but there isn't one immediately to and, so I use my finger instead. It's when I run into problems that I often discover the vital idea for the work."

Darkness and seeing: ...the mystics' emphasis on darkness, which they regarded as an aid to spiritual enlightenment. Saint john of the Cross, for example, saw darkness as facilitating meditation by acting as a stimulant to the imagination hence enabling the subject to enjoy the experience of heightened perception described by one of the saint's own pupils, a nun called Cecilia del Nacimiento, who was also a poet and painter. Cecilia wrote: 'I saw everything with such sharpness that it was as if I had the eyes of a lynx, mysteriously penetrating to the very heart of things.' This description closely resembles the answers which Tapies gave when questioned about his rejection of colour and his attitude to the object. His aim in painting is to penetrate beyond the superficial appearance of things, and this calls for darkness instead of colour - that darkness which, to the mystic, is the ringer of light, by the same paradox which decrees that the goal, the absolute, the ultimate ground of being is the most perfect emptiness.
it's hard to choose just a few images from his life's work
(see what he said about "success" here)


CERULEAN said...

Wonderful post about Tapies.

JAQUINTA said...

I like Tapies 'Large Matter with Lateral Papers' 1963 and 'The Blue Arch' 1974.

Tapies paintings are a perceptive experience, a transcendental contemplation brought about by austere monochromaticism. He held the view that nothing is insignificant, that everything has profound meaning that expresses the true reality of the world. His paintings incorporate writing and objects. He used
ordinary materials. This is before Art Provera. When looking at Painting XXVIII 1955 there is a contrast between mystery and absolute simplicity.