Skip to main content

Antoni Tàpies

Sèrie Negre


Year: 2017



In 1967, Antoni Tàpies produced a series of 15 drawings that contain the most characteristic features of his work. The Sèrie negre, considered to be one of his most personal art series, and which this year celebrates the 50th anniversary of its creation, was conceived on brown paper, a support which, thanks to its roughness, allowed the artist to create certain nuances and reliefs that emphasise the black tones, which are the central feature of the series. 

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the creation of this series, with this reproduction of the 15 plates, Artika and the Fundació Antoni Tápies are offering us the opportunity to discover one of the most representative works of one of the 20th century’s leading artists. This edition also enables us to see, for the first time ever, the complete collection, as during the process of creating this book it was discovered that one of the plates from the Sèrie negre was absent from the Fundació collection. 

The plates have been printed on high-quality, hand-produced paper, made especially for this work, in order to ensure the faithful reproduction of the original images. After they have been printed, each plate is die-cut and presented on a diptych which, together with the work’s other features, make up the Art Book of this exclusive edition. All the plates are numbered on the back and bear the seal of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies. The diptychs are all placed in a folder that bears the artist’s signature, together with an official, hand-numbered notary’s document that verifies the plates.

The work also includes a Study Book, presented in a bilingual edition (Spanish and English) which offers an abundance of graphic material, all reproduced in high-quality prints, on the life and work of the artist. It also contains previously unpublished texts by Antoni Tàpies Barba, son of the artist, gallery owner and writer; Xavier Antich, President of the Board of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies; and the art historian Pedro de Llano, who provides an individual commentary on each of the plates. 

All these different features come in a large-format box, which has been hand-made using wood and hessian fabric – a support that is particularly appropriate to the artistic identity of Antoni Tàpies, and his passion for simple, everyday materials. The box cover shows a screenprinted enlargement of one of the plates, and also features the artist’s signature. 

The special design of this box enables users to enjoy the work and to display the Sèrie negre drawings in multiple ways. It is comprised of two sections joined by a system of magnets: one of these sections contains the Art Book, with the plates, and has been conceived as a display frame, while the second section, which has a text by Tàpies screenprinted onto its cover, contains the Study Book for the work. 

By exploring the subtle variations expressed in the drawings in the Sèrie negre, we can perceive the very heartbeat of the artist through his precise, vigorous brushstrokes.

The production process

This paper, which is specially produced for this work by expert papermakers at a traditional craft workshop, is made from two different types of pure cellulose.

Once the paper paste is uniform in texture, it is pressed between rollers, to obtain the initial irregular paper sheets. Any sheets that do not reach the required quality are rejected by a specialist.

The pressed sheets are hung beside a window and left to dry naturally for three or four days, depending on humidity and current weather conditions.

Once they are dry, they are flattened by hand and checked individually. After that, they are pressed twice – first manually and then using a hydraulic press.

Technical experts adjust and correct the colour tests, so as to change the printing plates if necessary. The drawings are analysed and rejected if they do not reach the desired standard.

All the plates are die-cut in accordance with the original. This process is carried out carefully by hand in order to ensure that the 15 drawings are all faithfully reproduced.

Each plate is secured on to its respective diptych using three drops of glue. All the drawings are numbered on the back and bear the seal of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies.

All the diptychs, which have been specially created so as to easily display and enjoy the plates, are kept in a folder that functions as an Art Book.

The two sections of the box are lined with natural hessian, combining two colours, as a reference to the materials Tàpies used in his works.

Both the front cover of this spectacular box and the text by Tàpies are screenprinted in black ink onto the hessian fabric.

The two sections are joined using a system of magnets. The first section contains the Art Book, and also functions as a display frame, while the second contains the Study Book.

The cover of the box features an enlarged image of one of the plates. A highly original design that offers users many different options for displaying and enjoying this wonderful work.

Technical specifications

  • Size: 41 x 53 x 13 cm
  • Two sections joined by magnets: one containing the Art Book, covered by a laminated glass sheet, forming an independent frame for hanging. The second includes the Study Book, which has a raw hessian cover
  • Cover: black, raw hessian
  • Weight when empty: 14.5 kg
    Art Book
    Diptychs and Folder
  • Size of the 18 diptychs: 34 x 46 cm
  • Folder size: 34.5 x 46.5 cm
  • Paper: Tintoretto Gesso 250 g (diptychs) and 350 g (folder)
  • Printing: front and back in one single ink (black)
  • 15 die-cut plates
  • Each one secured to their respective diptych using three drops of glue
  • Paper for plates: hand-crafted, 185 g
  • Printing: printed in a fifth black ink
    Study Book
  • Size: 32 x 44 cm
  • Paper: Tatami White, 170 g
  • Printing: 4/4 inks
  • Binding: sewn and paperback
  • Covers: double cardboard, 350 g (pasted cardboard, front and back)
  • Cover printing: printed in four inks
  • Bilingual edition: Spanish and English