76
76

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Manolo Millares
CUADRO 38 
JUMP TO LOT
76

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Manolo Millares
CUADRO 38 
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

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London

Manolo Millares
1926 - 1972
CUADRO 38 
signed; signed, titled and dated 1959 on the stretcher
mixed media on burlap
200 by 150cm.; 78 3/4 by 59in.
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Provenance

Pierre Matisse, New York

Acquavella Gallery, New York

Edmund Peel Fine Art Consulting, London

Private Collection, Spain

Exhibited

The Hague, Haags Gemeetemuseum; Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Jonge Spaanse Kunst, 1959, n.p., no. 40

New York, Pierre Matisse Gallery, Manolo Millares: Recent Paintings, 1960, n.p., no. 4, illustrated

Madrid, Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, Millares, 1992, p. 105, no. 17, illustrated in colour 

Bielefeld, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Manolo Millares: Werke von 1951 bis 1971, 1992, p. 62, no. 14, illustrated in colour

Literature

José-Augusto Franca, Millares, Barcelona 1977, p. 54, no. 81, illustrated

Gabriel Andivero, Millares: une dimension imaginaire de la matière, Paris 1984-85, p. 101 (text) 

Anon., ‘Otro paso de Millares’, La Capital, No. 2, Madrid 1992, p. 94, illustrated in colour 

Alfonso de la Torre, Manolo Millares: Pinturas Catálogo Razonado, Madrid 2004, p. 153, no. 120, illustrated in colour 

Catalogue Note

At once appearing abstract and reflecting earthly material qualities, Cuadro 38 employs an austere colour palette of black and muted yellow punctuated by fleshy pink smudges over rough, three-dimensional bends of burlap. The piece stems from a decisive period in Manolo Millares’ practice when the artist began to experiment with both abstraction and non-traditional materials, ultimately arriving at his distinctive style. Together with Antonio Saura and Pablo Serrano, the artist founded the avant-garde group ‘El Pasto’ in 1957, with the aim of attaining “a revolutionary plastic art which will include both our dramatic tradition and our direct expression, and be our historic response to a universal activity… Our goal is a great transformation of plastic art in which may be found the expression of a new reality” (Jose-Augusto Franca, Millares, Barcelona 1978, p.64). The present work, executed just two years later in 1959, demonstrates the vivid, textural aesthetic the group strove to achieve in order to reflect the devastation of the Spanish Civil War.

Endowed with intricate symbolism, Millares’ piece unravels the artist’s interest in the history of his native Canary Islands. Millares began to employ burlap with mixed-media techniques after he encountered Guanche mummies wrapped in cloth sacks at the Museo Canario. In referencing these mummified remains, Millares engages with the lives of past civilisations and the vulnerability of man. Art historian Jose-Augusto França noted that Millares came to “the realisation of the disappearance of man, but in the same way… he also became aware of the power man has of existing outside his physical life through memory, dreams, or magic” (Ibid., p. 111).

Marrying the archaeological heritage of his native land with an expressive re-evaluation of everyday materials, Millares explored the possibilities of painting beyond formal restrictions. In some areas of the work, the paint appears to have been thrown at the surface and allowed to drip downwards in an experiment of chance. Coming after the artist’s early exploration of Surrealism, inspired by the phantasmagoric fauna of Miró and symbolism of Klee, the mature works of Millares delight in the physical reality of his artistic production. Through archaic references combined with humble materials, and the build up of matter and layering of paint, Cuadro 38 holds a powerful, and ultimately mysterious, presence over the viewer.

Contemporary Art Evening Auction

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London