Retrat de Joan Brossa, 1950-1970

Portrait of Joan Brossa, 1950-1970
Painting, 67 x 56 x 6 cm

Retrat de Joan Brossa bears witness to the strong friendship that existed between the artists Joan Brossa and Antoni Tàpies. The painting, exhibited for the first time in 1952 at Galeries Laietanes in Barcelona, was part of Joan Brossa's private collection and then the collection of the Joan Brossa Foundation, before it was acquired by MACBA in 2012. The work is a figurative portrait that corresponds to two different moments in Tàpies' career. Around 1950, he painted a portrait of his friend against a dark brown, almost monochromatic background that merges into the brown of the jacket he is wearing. Twenty years later, in 1970, he modified the painting. It was probably then that he added the inscription in chalk with the date (1950-1970), along with some geometric symbols and a doodle. He also added a sponge painted the same brown colour, at heart height.

Although Tàpies had made numerous portraits when he was starting out his pictorial career in the forties and fifties, over time he abandoned this genre and went on to develop his material paintings, eventually becoming one of the leading exponents of Informalism. By the time he returned to the portrait of Brossa, his visual language was fully developed, and his works already incorporated 'poor objects' and materials from his immediate surroundings.

Technical details

Original title:
Retrat de Joan Brossa
Registration number:
Tàpies, Antoni
Date created:
Date acquired:
Being restored
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium
Object type:
Oil, chalk and natural sponge on canvas
67 x 56 x 6 cm (height x width x depth)
MACBA Collection. MACBA Consortium. Joan Brossa Fund. Long-term loan of Fundació Joan Brossa
© Comissió Tàpies, VEGAP, Barcelona
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

For more information on the work or the artist, please consult MACBA's Library. To request a loan of the work, please write to colleccio [at] macba.cat.

If you need a high resolution image of the work, you must submit an image loan request.