Manolo Millares was a Spanish painter and etcher born in the Canary Islands in 1926. He was initiated to surrealism in 1948 and in 1953 moved to Madrid to become an abstract painter. Millares founded with other artists an avant-garde group El Paso including members such as Rafael Canogar, Antonio Suárez, Antonio Saura, and Pablo Serrano. The Ateneo exhibition of Madrid of 1957 and his inscription to the Venise Biennale the same year meant that he started to build an international reputation at the start of the 1960s and had a solo exhibition at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1961 in New York. He participated in the « European Art of Today: 35 Painters and sculptors at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts exhibition » in 1959, and in « Before Picasso: After Miró » at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (1960).

These collages created from burlap sackcloth were some of his most notable works. The burlap was stretched taut and pieces sewn together to create voids. His paintings were made with darker tones and of black, white, and red colors. The burlap works were rooted in the pre-history of the Canary Islands. Millares was associated with the Informalist movement, which emphasized experimentation and political engagement, and he was considered responsable for the renaissance of Spanish modern art. His artistic language combined moments that were tormented, lyrical and gestural, and it reflected the physical and psychological wounds of the wars in Europe.

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Manolo Millares
Photo Credit : © DR