The Atlantic Center of Modern Art (CAAM) opens this Thursday, March 28, at 8:30 p.m., the exhibition Universe Manrique, dedicated to the work and the figure of the Canarian artist César Manrique (Lanzarote, 1919-1992) whose work of international importance has been marked on his native island and in the story of the history of 20th century art in the Canary Islands and Spain. Produced by the CAAM with the collaboration of the César Manrique Foundation, and from JTI, the exhibition is displayed along the four floors and the façade of the main headquarters of the art center, and can be visited from March 28 to September 29, in the usual time of the center, on Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 9 pm and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm, with free admission.
This is the most outstanding show of the programming of this year 2019, marked by the celebration of the 30th anniversary of CAAM and the commemoration of centenary of the birth of Manrique. The project is part of the essential lines of work of CAAM to review and disseminate the trajectory of fundamental artists of contemporary art in the Canary Islands. The exhibition is curated by the historian and art critic, Katrin Steffen, who has worked, among others, in the Basel's Kunstmuseum or in the Daros Latin America Collection of Zurich Y Rio de Janeiro, for more than a decade. Manrique Universe aims to show the many facets of this total artist, interested in an art dedicated to life.
The Atlantic Center for Modern Art (CAAM) turns thirty in 2019 and commemorates it by paying off its debt to the "global artist" César Manrique, to whom he dedicates this exhibition in which the curator Katrin Steffen offers an "immersion" in the universe of this "unrepeatable" creator that has cost 332,000 euros, as reported Efe.
The director of CAAM, Orlando Britto has underlined that with this exhibition, dedicated to the "most transcendental artist of the Canary Islands", CAAM "writes one of its blank pages" or pays a "pending issue", when paying homage to the work, the life and the legacy of this "polyhedral figure". According Efe, Britto explained that this work has been entrusted to a "solvent" foreign commissioner, as is the Swiss historian and art critic Katrin Steffen, because they wanted to bet on a specialist that was not "contaminated" by "bias" in any around its protagonist or the Canary Islands.
A) Yes, Steffen has been documented in the archipelago during the last two years and has done an exercise of "immersion" in the world of Manrique, from the immediate "fascination" he felt for his work and for his native island, Lanzarote, with which He was always so identified and that he helped build from his love for "beauty based on harmony between the human being and his environment". The curator stressed that César Manrique always had in mind the idea that "art should be at the service of life", which constituted a "singular" approach in years of an unstoppable advance in tourism development in which, however, , "he had the courage to continue on his way", always guided by his environmental activism.
César Manrique was not only a qualified professional painter, self-taught architect, landscaper, designer and sculptor, but he also worked as mediator, precursor, promoter and entrepreneur, educator and social and environmental activist. In the words of its curator, the exhibition is an invitation to participate in the creative universe of this author and is part of a framework of thought guided by his fascination for the natural beauty of Lanzarote, the need to show it to the world and the inescapable obligation of its preservation for future generations.
The multiple spaces of creation that Manrique developed throughout his artistic career, marked by his multidisciplinary nature, is reflected through a wide selection of around 200 works, including paintings, sketches, drawings, collages and sculptures, as well as his designs, his work as an interior designer, his mural paintings, his collaborations and architectural interventions. It also incorporates photographs and documents from various archives that represent the context of his creative world.
The exhibition also includes valuable unpublished material, from different personal archives, that brings us closer to a César Manrique who talks and reflects on his creative cosmos and his life. It is worth noting the important role played by the independent Canarian filmmaker Miguel G. Morales, who has created, in dialogue with the curator, several audiovisuals that offer an approach to the thought of César Manrique and his work, as well as testimonies from other people who knew him and accompanied him on his way. In the same way, we must highlight the contribution made to the project by the photographer's archive Francisco Rojas Fariñas (Tenerife, 1926-2007), known as Fachico, one of the pioneers of the art of photography in the Canary Islands, witness of exception of half a century of History of the Islands and friend and close collaborator of Manrique.
Universe Manrique has the collaboration of the artists Ildefonso Aguilar, Rubén Acosta, the team PSJM (Pablo San José and Cynthia Viera) Y Santiago Morilla, as well as Luna Bengoechea, Acaymo S. Cuesta, Moneiba Lemes Y José Otero. Starting next July, the CAAM will publish a catalog that will gather multiple points of view that will address the most varied aspects of this multifaceted and singular creator.