The work of Antonio Tàpies is provocative, like all creative art; as communication it is unfathomable, secretive. It is not an enigma to be unravelled, for that would mean that once solved its content would be exhausted. It is a secret, existing as an end in itself, whose key is never revealed, maintaining with marvelous clarity a dynamic state of fecund freedom. This is perhaps, the fundamental role of aesthetics: an asymptotic approach to a masterpiece, based on that contradiction which, being always a posteriori, it takes as a point of departure, using it as the “raw material” which it caneventually attempt to define and reveal. […]
The perpetual freedom of Tàpies’ graphic treatment and genetic impasto work maintains his exceptional pictorial quality in a dynamic ambiguity on the threshold of a projected clairvoyance which is kept at that optimum tension immediately preceding the revelation of a secret, but the secret is never revealed. Painting of this kind can never exhaust itself. Its practice can but give tension to the dialogue, always of the highest quality because of the very acceptance of the secret as a secret, a generator of the most effective structures of desire.
TAPIÉ, Michel. Antonio Tàpies. Barcelona: RM (1959) [excerpt].
Published in Tàpies, today. Barcelona, 2019. Mayoral. p.28 – 29
Picture: Empremtes d’escaire. (Set-Square Imprints) (1980) Mixed media on wood. 100 × 81.5 cm