Born in Las Palmas in 1926 and died in Madrid in 1972, Manolo Millares made a substantial contribution to renewing artistic creation in Franco’s Spain of the 1950s and sixties. Before leaving Las Palmas, in 1950 he had already participated in the LADAC group (Archers of Contemporary Art), although he is best known for his association with El Paso (The Step), a group of artists that included Antonio Saura and Pablo Serrano, among others. Until 1955, his painterly language was close to Surrealism, with its roots in the native culture of the Canaries.
Afterwards, he fully adopted the spirit of Informalism, incorporating sackcloth as his support, which he tore or slashed, and to which he added other materials such as sand, stones and wood, swathing them in the black, white and red paint that defined his palette. With a tortured, gestural language, and works incorporating frenetic invented writings, he gradually simplified his elements, achieving by the sixties what he himself called ‘the victory of white’. A supporter of artists such as Antoni Tàpies and Modest Cuixart, his painting was always guided by the research of matter and the gestures of the creative process.
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I’d really like to think that the artist could be just another kind of material in the picture, working in collaboration with all the other materials.
Robert Rauschenberg