Manolo Millares

Políptico

Date: 1967

Technique: Mixed technique on sackcloth

Dimensions: 119 x 95 cm

Es Baluard Museu d'Art Modern i Contemporani de Palma, Ajuntament de Palma collection long-term loan

Reg. no.: 414

Not on display

Manolo Millares defined his unique language using collages, for which he employed elements like wood, sand, fragments of ceramics or sackcloth, the latter being adopted from 1954 on for the creation of his “Muros” and “Perforaciones” series, and related to the burial techniques of the Guanche culture. Sackcloth – a humble material – thus became the ideal medium for expressing his concerns: man, Spain’s recent past, the pain and the effects of war or the history of Spanish art, and specifically the Spanish Golden Age.

He manipulates sacking, reinforcing its expressive quality, through shreds and knots; he superimposes fragments of cloth or cardboard which are sewn into the surface, and finally applies the colour, an element he reduces mainly to black, white and red. All of this is embodied in his “Homúnculos”, which he started in 1960, and is also reflected in the two paintings from the Es Baluard Collection, Cuadro 160 II (1961) and Políptico (1967). Millares was born into a family of intellectuals who moved to Arrecife (Lanzarote) when the Spanish Civil War broke out. Self-taught, from a young age he began practising drawing, first within the realms of figuration and then turning towards other avant-garde proposals in the late 1940s, receiving the influence of Surrealism and Constructivism with Joan Miró and Joaquín Torres-García as essential models. His interest in primitive art and Guanche iconography materialized in the form of his well-known Pictografías, which he produced from 1951 to the mid-1950s. The violent drama of the sackcloth fabrics, torn and twisted, and the peculiar monochrome strokes, would be the elements that make his work identifiable.

E.B.

Artist biography