Rinzen – a Japanese word meaning a ‘sudden awakening’ – was conceived for the Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 1993, where it was awarded the Golden Lion. Six years later, in 1998, Antoni Tàpies installed the work permanently at MACBA. Hampered by space restrictions, the artist was unable to exhibit all the elements of the work at the Biennale, something that was redressed when it was installed at MACBA. Located at the entry to the Museum, on a monumental wall, the work unites the different floors like a structure. The symbology of the work is complex. When it was presented in Venice, the neighboring country of Bosnia was at war. Symbolizing instability and fragility, the presence of a large white metal hospital bed and five spring bed bases were a clear reminder of the war. The work’s message is not only against the brutality of war, ‘it has other intentions, such as seeking concentration to arrive at a deeper understanding of reality’. Rinzen is a complex work that invites us to meditation and inner vision. 

Works in the collection by Tàpies