20th Century Artists

The influence of Millares - as the other members of the Group " El Paso "- is evident in contemporary Spanish artists like Tàpies or Barceló.


Manolo Millares (1926-1972) was born in the Canary Islands and was largely self-taught as an artist. He was initially influenced by Surrealism and archaeology – particularly the rituals, symbols and textiles of the indigenous inhabitants of the Canary Islands. In 1953, he moved to Madrid and focused on abstraction, with a palette primarily of black and white. Millares often juxtaposed the construction of a picture with the destruction of its materials (tearing or ripping sackcloth, for example, or creating holes and stitching them up) to explore themes of human suffering, anguish and redemption. His art was “an art of explosion and protest” and “a passionate means of express[ing]” the idea that through destruction, something better can be built.

Manolo Millares
catalogue cover

'Spanish Modern Masters' - pdf catalogue

Manolo Millares was part of the group "El Paso" ("The Step"), in whom the gesture painting prevailed as the main form of artistic expression. Rejecting the geometric abstractions popularized after the World War II, the artistic direction was based on - gesture and calligraphic painting,  painting of signs, material painting- that had in common the absolute prominence of the pictorial material. In the early 1960s Manolo Millares worked on Indian ink drawings which show the use of pure expressive gestures.

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