A passionate collector who was linked to the textile world, Rafael Tous (Barcelona, 1940) developed an eye for Conceptual art, with its diverse practices that nevertheless prioritise the idea and process over the object. Acting intuitively, and without regard for market speculation, Tous built a collection that helps define the attitudes and experimental work carried out by a group of artists, many of whom became friends and were supported by him on their artistic journey.
The Life of Words
The emergence of concept art in Catalonia occurred in parallel to the experimentation with language that was seen in other areas of the avant-garde. In the 1970s, the visual poetry that had been developed in pioneering fashion in the European post-war became more broadly known, along with the philosophy of language and semiotic theory. The theses of theoreticians like Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ferdinand de Saussure and Marshall McLuhan opened up a new paradigm, which was also explored by art. Interest in all things related to the word, the equivocal relationship between language and things, the semantic dimension of the object, the idea of play associated with phonetics, as well as patterns of repetition—these were just some of the areas that would be developed.