Spanish painter and sculptor Antoni Tapies, who was one of the world\'s leading contemporary art figures, has died aged 88. His death was confirmed by the government of his native Catalonia region in the northeast of Spain. The artist, who had been in poor health since 2007, was known for his sprawling works that sometimes featured discarded everyday materials. In 2003, he won Spain\'s top art award, the Velazquez Prize. Tapies\' early work was strongly influenced by surrealist painters like Miro and Klee. But he later developed his own style, featuring built-up surfaces that were often scratched with letters, numbers and signs. His gritty and raw art installations often included everyday items, such as his 1971 sculpture Mattress. The work featured a bedspread, which was painted with blood-like stains and ripped in the centre to reveal horsehair stuffing. Aged 17, Tapies suffered a heart attack which was caused by tuberculosis. Whilst recuperating he spent two years developing his artwork, before he enrolled at the University of Barcelona to study law. He later co-founded the arts magazine Dau al Set (The Seven-Spotted Die) with poet and playwright Joan Brossa.