Back UPF and the Antoni Tàpies Foundation create a chair to foster knowledge about the artist

UPF and the Antoni Tàpies Foundation create a chair to foster knowledge about the artist

The main objective of the Antoni Tàpies-UPF Chair in Contemporary Art and Thought, linked to the UPF Department of Humanities, is to promote teaching, research and the dissemination of knowledge in relation to Antoni Tàpies. Laia de Nadal, rector of UPF, and Ferran Rodés, president of the Board of Trustees of the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, signed the collaboration agreement between the two institutions on 11 December in the Reflection Room created by the artist on the Ciutadella campus.


Imatge inicial

Pompeu Fabra University and the Antoni Tàpies Foundation have created the Antoni Tàpies-UPF Chair in Contemporary Art and Thought, linked to the University’s Department of Humanities. This collaboration is framed in the commemoration of Tàpies Year, which officially began on 13 December, 2023, coinciding with the centenary of the artist’s birth.

The chair was created with the aim of generating a space for research, knowledge and debate on our contemporaneity, from the perspective of and through the artistic creation of Antoni Tàpies. It aims to be a key tool to promote research, teaching and dissemination in relation to Antoni Tàpies and the world, both nationally and internationally, with art and knowledge acting as its main thread.

Laia de Nadal: “The synergies we will create will contribute to enriching the academic and cultural trajectory of UPF students and researchers and to expanding the Foundation’s audiences and horizons”

From left to right: Antoni Tàpies Barba, Laia de Nadal and Ferran Rodés

The signing of the collaboration agreement, valid until the end of 2026 (renewable), was carried out by Laia de Nadal, rector of UPF, and Ferran Rodés, president of the Board of Trustees of the Antoni Tàpies Foundation. The ceremony took place on 11 December in the afternoon, in the Reflection Room of the Ciutadella campus, the emblematic space of silence and meditation built by Antoni Tàpies and inaugurated in 1996: it is a unique and singular space in the world, which will increase its accessibility and opening hours during the commemoration of Tàpies Year at UPF.

According to Laia de Nadal, rector of the University, “the chair, which seeks to become an international pole of attraction in art and research, is integrated into the UPF Culture programme, whose objectives involve weaving a network with institutions and organizations to generate and promote culture and thus contribute to social change. “The synergies we will create will contribute to enriching the academic and cultural trajectory of UPF students and researchers and to expanding the Foundation's audiences and horizons”.

For Ferran Rodés, president of the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, “the chair will be a first-rate instrument to explore solutions to the major present and future social challenges, based on an intergenerational dialogue between art and scientific research. An instrument that we will have in Barcelona and for the whole world”.

After signing the agreement, which was attended by various officers of the University and the Foundation, those in attendance moved to the Ciutadella Library/CRAI to visit a bibliographic exhibition on Tàpies, marking the start of the activities organized by UPF to commemorate Tàpies Year, some of which are circumscribed in this chair.

A meeting point for research and reflection with contemporary art as the focus

The creation of the Antoni Tàpies-UPF Chair of Contemporary Art and Thought will allow developing research projects based on the interaction of independent professionals, historians, researchers, and artists, but also establish a stable dialogue with researchers and professors from different universities and academic spaces everywhere.

According to Eva March, an associate professor at the UPF Department of Humanities and academic director of the chair, “to acquaint oneself with the figure of Tàpies is to become aware of how his universe encompasses a multiplicity of disciplines and studies. From the most obvious, such as contemporary art or philosophy, to others such as science, economics or health, which undoubtedly feed much of his artistic production”.

The Chair will be made up of members of the Tàpies Museum and UPF, the university where the artist designed a space for silence and meditation. Thus, two spaces created by the artist, the institution that preserves, studies and disseminates his legacy, and the space he arranged in a university, the Reflection Room, come together in order to promote thought and knowledge, just as the artist himself did throughout his life.

An international research award and a conference on art and spirituality, the first activities

As its main components in the field of research, during 2024, its first year of existence, the Chair will define and develop joint lines of research and will focus above all on three areas of action and dissemination, within which several projects have already been established.

First, the creation of a biannual international research award aimed at postdoctoral researchers: under the title “The Hermeneutics of Gesture: Tàpies and the Present”, will aim to help the universe of Tàpies to generate a space for thought and debate concerning our present, based on the interaction of different disciplines, knowledge and skills.

Secondly, the agreement provides for the organization of seminars and activities for reflection and debate. The first planned collaboration will take place within the framework of the “Art and spirituality” conference, curated by professor Victoria Cirlot of UPF and Manel Guerrero Brullet, essayist and art critic, with the support of the Department of Culture of the Government of Catalonia and the collaboration of the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, the Picasso Museum and the Joan Miró Foundation.

The conference will take place from 21 to 24 May 2024, spread across the headquarters of UPF, the Tàpies Foundation, the Miró Foundation and the Picasso Museum, on the occasion of what has been called the triple commemoration “Picasso 2023/Tàpies 2024/Miró 2025”: 2023 saw the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the death of Picasso and the 60th anniversary of the opening of the Picasso Museum; in 2024 the centenary of the birth of Tàpies is being commemorated, and 2025 will be the 50th anniversary of the inauguration of the Joan Miró Foundation.

Moreover, during the coming year the Chair will work on the promotion and encouragement and support for predoctoral studies, with the promotion of doctoral theses between the two institutions, cooperation to obtain common research projects and the promotion of research in publications.

Other activities organized by UPF within Tàpies Year

In addition to these activities within the framework of the Chair, UPF will organize and host other activities within its Tàpies Year commemorative programme, which will take place between December 2023 and December 2024.

The exhibition “100 years of the birth of Antoni Tàpies (1923-2012)” can be visited at the Library/CRAI of the Ciutadella campus, with a virtual bookshelf and an in person exhibition up until 20 December 2023. The virtual bookshelf is divided into four sections: Writings by Antoni Tàpies, exhibition catalogues, interviews, criticism and interpretation, and illustrated books.

The display can be visited until December 20

According to Anna Magre, Library director, “it is an honour to join the celebration of the centenary of Tàpies. We are doing so through a virtual bookshelf, which aims to offer a broad perspective of his artistic personality, but also through a sample of illustrated books and catalogues of his work that measure the importance of a universal painter linked to the city of Barcelona and to UPF”.

In collaboration with the ESMUC, during the month of March the University will join in the season titled “Antoni Tàpies’ suitcase”, in which a musician will perform a short concert before one of the artist’s works. Finally, and to bring Tàpies Year to a close, on 13 December 2024, UPF will host a concert by El Niño de Elche, organized by the Antoni Tàpies Foundation, within the framework of the “The 13 chairs” season.

> > Photo album posted on Flickr

Signatura del conveni de creació de la Càtedra Antoni Tàpies-UPF d'Art i Pensament Contemporanis



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