Antoni Tàpies was born in Barcelona in 1923 into a middle-class, Catalan nationalist family. He enrolled in at the University of Barcelona for law, but always had a love of creating. Tàpies was a painter, printmaker, draughstman and sculptor. By the 1940's he was already exhibiting his works which consisted of unconventional materials such as marble dust, earth and ground chalk. In his own words, his "gray, silent, somber, opressed paintings" contribute to their aura of solemnity.