Painting 111


Manolo Millares was a self-taught artist born in 1926 in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, in the Canary Islands archipelago of Spain. Shown here is his Cuadro 111 (Painting 111), made some time after 1960, an abstract work in startlingly vivid tones of green, purple and black. Millares was influenced by Surrealism from the late 1940s and attracted to the works of Klee and Miró. In that period, he began making abstract pictograms inspired by the Guanches, the indigenous Canaries people, and the pre-Hispanic culture of the islands, and he was a cofounder of Planas de Poesia journal. In the mid-1950s, he moved to Madrid and began making pictures from sackcloth, wood, sand, plaster, rope and other found materials, constantly experimenting with new media. By his unusual treatment of sackcloth and burlap, which he burned, tore, and stitched, he gave his pictures a sculptural dimension. Millares exhibited his work at the Venice Biennale in 1956. The next year, with other painters, including Rafael Canogar, Luis Feito, Juana Francés, Antonio Suárez and Antonio Saura, he cofounded the avant-garde group El Paso (The step), aiming to achieve a new state of mind in the Spanish art world. Manolo Millares died in Madrid in 1972. This piece is in the collections of the Atlantic Center of Modern Arts, in Gran Canaria.

Last updated: June 13, 2016