Antoni Tàpies was born in Barcelona, Spain, in 1923, into a family of booksellers and Catalan nationalist politicians. During protracted periods of illness in his adolescence, he began drawing and developing a serious interest in literature. In 1944, after abandoning law studies at Barcelona University, he began to work as an artist. Tàpies first exhibited his work in the late 1940s and had his first solo exhibition in 1950 at Galeries Laietanes, Barcelona, and his first New York solo exhibition in 1953 at Martha Jackson Gallery. He first traveled abroad to Paris in 1951, where he met Pablo Picasso, and in 1953 he visited New York, where he met Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Hans Hofmann. In 1984, he established the Antoni Tàpies Foundation in Barcelona. Retrospective surveys of his work have been presented at such venues as the Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover, Germany (1962), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1962), and the Kunsthaus Zurich (1962), the Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna (1968), Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1973), Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo (1977), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1980), Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (1989), and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2000). In 1993, Tàpies and Cristina Iglesias represented Spain at the 45th Venice Biennale. Tàpies lives and works in Barcelona.