Home is part of a series of figurative works that the artist created during his later years and which often focused on the human form. His’ fascination with the body can be traced back to the beginning of his career: bedridden for two years when he was just seventeen, the artist started painting as a means, perhaps, of distraction. Tàpies’ early output is highly autobiographical; images of the self populate his canvases. After the ’50s, however, the artist developed his pictorial language into one that incorporated unusual artistic materials, positioning himself amongst the most original voices of his generation. During the last decade of his career, Tàpies returned to some of his earlier motifs, this time, however, articulated in his very own idiom. In Home, the viewer is confronted by the image of a nude male body. In these later years, the artist expressed a greater focus on his own existential condition, both as a man and a painter. His deeply incised lines within the plaster and sand matrix serve him well as he explores the intricacies and intimacies of the human figure. His subtractive techniques of gouging and scraping his medium are used to create the most primal etchings of the human form - a navel, the lines of the hips, the phallus itself - while letting his abstracted shapes, ambiguous textual notations and textured earthy palette swirl around them. Through the use of writing, marks and gestural patterns, Tàpies transforms the nature of his canvas and background into a compelling contemplation on temporal existence.
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