Top contemporary art figure, Spanish painter and sculptor Antoni Tapies, dead at 88

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MADRID (AP).- Catalan painter and sculptor Antoni Tapies, one of the world’s top contemporary art figures, has died. He was 88. A statement from the government of his native northeastern Catalonia region said Tapies — whose work has been displayed in major museums across the world — died Monday evening in Barcelona. It said he had been in poor health since 2007. Born in Barcelona in 1923, Tapies was one of Spain’s main exponents of abstract and avant-garde art in the second half of the 20th century. “He was the most radically Catalan artist in his thinking, his expression and references and at the same time the most universal in his language and international projection,” Catalan regional president Artur Mas said. Tapies — who won many awards over the course of