MANOLO MILLARES-TRUENA SECO EL FUEGO DE LA VIDA

MANOLO MILLARES-TRUENA SECO EL FUEGO DE LA VIDA

Texto publicado en el catálogo
MILLARES BUILDING BRIDGES, NOT WALLS
Barcelona, 2017: Galería Mayoral, pp. 10-25

  

THE FIRE OF LIFE THUNDERS SHARP

 

[ON THE PRESENCE OF MILLARES’S WORK IN CATALONIA]

 

 

I saw your exhibition again. And indeed, the fire of life thunders sharp in it.
Joan Brossa, letter to Manolo Millares, I/1959[1].

A truly great painter
Joan Miró (1980)[2]

2017-MANOLO MILLARES-TRUENA SECO EL FUEGO DE LA VIDA
Madrid, Pozo del Tío Raimundo, 2/XI/1963
José Moreno Torres, son of José María Moreno Galván and Carola Torres
Next to a poster by Manolo Millares for “Semana de la Paz-Universitarios de Barcelona. March-April 1963”.
63 x 43.5 cm.
Photo: Manolo Millares. Courtesy of Carola Moreno Torres

 

INTRODUCTION

[FROM EL POZO DEL TÍO RAIMUNDO TO LA RAMBLA DE CATALUNYA]

The adventure of life is over, José María Moreno Galván wrote a year before the death of his friend the artist.[1] Later, in 1976, at the opening of a one-person show of Manolo Millares’s work at the Galería Trece in Barcelona, everything was indeed over. With the painter long dead and the former regime on its last legs, a time of hope was dawning following the lethargy of the long years of thistles and ashes.[2] The critic was penning an introduction for the exhibition catalogue, which he signed on new year’s day 1976, calling to mind the poster which the artist had made for the University of Barcelona in 1963, counter-commemorating the coming twenty-five years of peace. Though failing in its purpose, for him the poster would remain as an ethical symbol: the critic and artist photographed it that autumn, on a wall in the shanty town on the outskirts of Madrid, as an example for their children.[3] That counter-commemoration of the years of peace would become an obsession for Millares and ultimately lead to the creation of his series “Artefactos para la paz”.[4]

As I write, I am thinking of Manolo Millares’s connections with Catalonia, and another memory flashes to mind: a photo taken by Leopoldo Pomés in the Ramblas.[5] Elvireta Escobio and Manolo Millares portrayed separately beside a pedestal table, in early 1959. Millares, dear and strange as the (equally strange) Cirlot[6] said of him at that time, looks out at us and seems to be showing us his big, bony hands outstretched with their sewing and tearing fingers ready to bore through burlap in search of a lost dimension.[7] Shadows and his sad gaze at the camera (his life would be brief, a little more than a decade after this photo), his coat is draped over his shoulders as if ready to continue walking, getting the portrait over and done with and then quickly out of here, perhaps becoming the blurred figure vanishing in the background. Then another scene from the same time springs to mind: Carlos Saura photographing several of the artists from the El Paso group in front of the Joan Prats hat shop. They were in Barcelona for an exhibition at Sala Gaspar of a depleted El Paso, opening on Saturday 10 January 1959.[8] The exhibition was organised in the space of a few months thanks to Juan-Eduardo Cirlot’s decisive intercession with Gaspar.[9] Perusing the correspondence from the time, we know that this “exhibition of four painters from the El Paso group” marked a before and after and turned the art scene in Barcelona on its head.[10]

I am also brought to mind now of another memory, this time a painful one, told to Rafael Santos Torroella, the artist’s first critical reference in Barcelona: “I know I am not well liked in Barcelona. I don’t know why, but it is obvious from the reviews of my exhibitions, always so harsh and cruel.”[11] Cruel and harsh? Millares was obviously talking about his first exhibitions in the city,[12] back in the fifties. However, from the sixties onwards his work was widely acclaimed and lauded by the art world, especially in Barcelona, under the wing of Joan Miró. Good proof can be seen in his regular appearances at René Métras’s gallery or the posthumous exhibition for the inaugural show at Galería Trece, his inclusion in many group shows, and also in the plentiful correspondence with members of Catalan art circles and likewise in his collaboration, during his final years, in publications by Gustavo Gili and his cooperation with Ricard Giralt-Miracle in his engagement with Cuenca.

 

MILLARES-BARCELONA-WORLD

[THE WORK OF MANOLO MILLARES IN CATALONIA IN THE FIFTIES]

In the photo taken by Carlos Saura in 1959, the artists are standing on the sidewalk in Rambla de Catalunya. One group (Canogar, (Antonio) Saura and Pomés) seems distracted, lost in their own thoughts, while Millares chats with the collector Metrás, a figure who he had met a few months previously and who would shortly prove crucial for the artist. They are strolling, perhaps towards Sala Gaspar at number 323 Consell de Cent, the same street as the Metrás gallery (at number 331) which Millares would frequent some years later. Waiting for them in Sala Gaspar, in the Millares-Barcelona-World, not far from Galería Mayoral, was an illustrious visitor, the charming Joan Miró,[13] who was portrayed that afternoon together with Millares’s works and who would, in turn, become instrumental in recommending them to Pierre Matisse, which would then open up international doors to this quartet of painters from the El Paso group.[14] The relationship between Joan Miró and Manolo Millares would prove to last over time, as one can readily ascertain from the correspondence, frequent dedications, exchange of books and gifts, like the Goyaesque currito[15] which Millares sent to Miró or indeed the beautiful dedicated print which the latter sent to the Millares.[16] It should come as no surprise then to see the artist from the Canaries included in so many tributes to Miró, who had this to say about Millares: “a truly great painter.”[17] He also once declared that it was such a great pity that he died on us so young, with an affectionate and almost paternal use of this possessive pronoun.

Elvireta, or Elvirita as Joan Miró called her,[18] who had also travelled to Barcelona for the occasion, spoke about their trip in 1959: “I remember so many things about those few days, among them Joan Brossa’s enthusiasm[19] when showing us his magical toys, the fun morning when we tried on hats in Joan Prats, the visit to his house to see his early Mirós, which he showed us with genuine passion. And I remember above all else the day we met Miró. He had promised to come for the El Paso exhibition and there he was among the young painters of the time. His presence and attitude endorsed the attitude and presence of the group of Madrid painters. A short while later Manolo received a telegram from Pierre Matisse from New York, saying that he was interested in his work and that he would come to Madrid shortly to see him (…) Later on, Pierre himself told us that it was Joan Miró who had spoken to him about an interesting young painter from the Canaries called Manolo Millares and also about new Spanish avant-garde art.”[20] Indeed, as Miró disinterestedly wrote to Millares, the impetus of this would be “to inject potential into the visual arts of today.”[21]

A few years beforehand the exhibition Otro arte had been held at Sala Gaspar[22] which Joan Texidor described as having brought back a sense of belief,[23] coinciding almost exactly with the presentation of the book about the Dau al Set group, Esthétique en devenir, by Michel Tapié the autre art critic of another kind, with a foreword by Tharrats[24] (almost an event in itself if we are to believe Cirlot[25]). The exhibition of another art brought to Barcelona and Madrid the work of international artists who until then were little known, coinciding in time with a number of other international exhibitions of abstract expressionism and art informel.[26] For this international exhibition at Sala Gaspar work by Saura came from the Stadler galley in Paris, with the addition of pieces by Canogar, Feito and Millares[27] in the Madrid iteration of another art. And so, the connection was such that, in one way, the exhibition at Sala Gaspar in 1959 would become a kind of affirmative “appendix” by El Paso to the previous Otro arte. Following the participation of artists from El Paso at the Venice Biennale in 1958,[28] art informel was given room once again at Sala Gaspar, now represented in the tetralogy of El Paso artists, introduced by Juan-Eduardo Cirlot and with the support, once again, of Club 49.

In the exhibition at Sala Gaspar, Manolo Millares presented various works with burlap made around 1958,[29] a by-no-means complacent group of works, a world of almost wounding jute and extraordinarily violent thrust, that whipped Cirlot into a lexical frenzy when describing this intellectually fluid painter as a “pure lover of beauty that dares to convoke it in the most terrifying places in order to take pleasure in incredible contradictions, saving it from ravines and ravens, from the needles used to sew the bellies of bullfighting horses and the bandages from a hospital’s emergency ward. What evocations are conjured up by this dripping of paint, like intellectual blood, pouring over the sepia content of serge!”[30] And precisely in the foreword to this publication, Cirlot analysed the advanced quality of art in Barcelona, as compared to the delayed situation in Madrid, something that would further endorse the severe isolation of Manolo Millares[31] in the nation’s capital:

In Barcelona, at least, there was a tradition of avant-garde art, ranging from the at-their-time misunderstood creations of Antonio Gaudí (around 1900) and Pablo Picasso’s works from his blue period right up until the surprising appearance of the Dau al Set group in 1948-49, not forgetting artists like Torres-García, Salvador Dalí and, above all, Miró, who ought to be viewed as the Spanish artist, prior to the present generation, who most closely engaged with the non-figurative and the cultivation of its “compensatory” elements. All that was left in Madrid was the isolated and still enigmatic work of José Gutiérrez Solana and the efforts of a number of estimable artists who were nevertheless held back by compromising formulas, as well as by the ineffectual action of some abstract artists. The El Paso group was founded to change this situation beyond all recognition, so that Spain’s capital city could become a living art centre of our time and so that other artists, following their example, could come together or work individually, but at least with the hope of being understood and accepted. The group has held exhibitions and conferences and has published several issues of an informative bulletin. It is in contact with Paris, although mostly through its individual members. Its presence in Barcelona means a ratification of what has been achieved here through other means, being necessary to underscore that, notwithstanding differences in style and in concept, one can appreciate a deep unity that can come from nowhere but the mettle of the Spanish soul. The negation of colour, the exacerbation of certain elements that accrue the power of expressive signs without losing their plastic quality, the reduction of the image —from broad experimental horizons— to a restricted and serial type that mirrors the decision of the self-limiting ascetic can all be found in the work of the El Paso artists exactly the same as in those by the most representative painters of the moment from the School of Barcelona.[32]

To conclude, Cirlot spoke about the air of an “encounter” between this exhibition by El Paso and Barcelona, in its purity and exaltation: “In short, the presence of the El Paso group in Barcelona, in the city of Gaudí and of Pablo Picasso’s first transcendental creations, brings before our gaze the purest and most exalted expressions of current Spanish painting and serves to engender a much-needed contact with the best artists from Barcelona.” Of course, though originally from the centripetal, exilary Madrid,[33] El Paso had, from its beginnings, looked to Barcelona. We would do well to remember that the first of its “Bulletins”, signed by José Ayllón —and which, to my way of thinking, is a pre-manifesto prior to the mythic “Manifesto”— was dedicated to summarising, almost defending might be a better way to put it, the artistic effervescence in Barcelona.[34] This ought not to be considered as odd, given the fame of modernist Barcelona in the early twentieth century, which inspired what Eduardo Westerdahl called, in 1951, “Barcelona’s expansive vision.”[35] It is generally accepted that, in the post-war period and before the catharsis of El Paso, the Catalan art scene had anticipated the encounter with the modern world, as could be readily seen in the publications and activity of Cobalto, Dau al Set, Club 49 or the Jazz Salons.

It is worth bearing in mind that El Jardín, the gallery in Barcelona run by the singular philo-Vibrationist Ángel Marsá,[36] another rara avis, was the place where Manolo Millares had his first one-person exhibition in mainland Spain, back in 1951[37] (before his monographic show in Madrid at Clan, in the autumn of the same year).[38] In the aforementioned gallery in Barcelona he would have another solo show the following year of 1952, where he displayed a group of works with an ordered appearance which Marsá programmed in what he called his “New Experimental Art Cycle”.[39] These included four of his so-called Calendario Plástico works[40] which were a kind of hymn to the dynamic vertigo of the modern world: refineries, factories and ports. This issue, of the kinship with Vibrationism and Torres-García, brought up by many critics when reviewing this exhibition, would prove to weigh heavily over Millares’s work at that time.[41]

The subject of another solo show in 1953, Manolo Millares’s work could now be seen in Girona, and then soon afterwards, in 1955, in Tarragona and in Tortosa. As one can quickly glean, Catalonia played a key role in the early rollout of Manolo Millares’s work in the fifties. Without question, the presence of the Canarian artist in Barcelona, and in Catalonia in general, had been constant even before he left the Canary Islands in 1955 to settle in mainland Spain. First of all, this can be traced back to when the artist was behind the diffusion of the publications of “Planas de Poesía” (1949-1951)[42] and, then later, the monographs published by LADAC, which we will talk about later. “Planas de Poesía” was, unquestionably, the first written emissary from the Canary Islands to Barcelona,[43] as can be certified in the correspondence of the artist from this early period, and for instance it would prove to be instrumental in his first contacts with Sebastià Gasch,[44] Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño,[45] Ángel Marsá, Cesáreo Rodríguez Aguilera and Rafael Santos Torroella.

Eager to make contact with the new world in mainland Spain, it always strikes me as emblematic the Canarian artist’s mention —highly symbolic for its earliness (1951), almost like a message from the other side— of the place of his faceless friends,[46] those people he admired but did not know in person, true friends seen with eyes longing for a meeting as soon as possible. It is surprising that, in that same year, Joan Brossa created a poem in which he also spoke of artists he admired, in a biographical composition: and here we can come across Millares,[47] who, for the poet, was a creator of intense insight. They admired each other, and we can find Brossa visiting Millares’s exhibitions and continuously praising him,[48] dedicating his civil poems to him in friendship.[49]

Another trip in those years that he would embark on to seek out new friends was to Santander in 1953, where he made friends with various Catalan artists and critics, as one can readily see in a wonderful portrait together with Sebastià Gasch.[50] The Catalan “delegation” at the Congress was noteworthy.[51]

Our artist from the Canary Islands had also met many of his friends from Catalonia while browsing through magazines and discovering “some key artists” among the abundant information that arrived to his new home in Calle Galileo, in Las Palmas.[52] Of course, all his friends were there, and most of those he mentions are Catalans or people who worked in Catalonia: Rafael Santos Torroella, Enric Planasdurà, Ángel Marsá, Santi Surós, Modest Cuixart, Sebastià Gasch, Juan Ramón Masoliver and Juan-Eduardo Cirlot, named in that order. During this time, some of them sent him charming dedicated photos, like Santi Surós, so that Millares could finally acquaint himself properly with him: photographed surrounded by his paintings in his studio in Calle Balmes. In the space of barely a few years, many others would be able to put a face on him, and finally requite the painter’s true friendship, like in the letter he sent to his friend Tàpies, also in 1953.[53]

This mention of faceless friends —including artists, gallerists, writers— allows us to grasp just to what extent Millares was integrated in Catalan art circles when Pomés portrayed him years later.

 

AND (OTHER) MULTIPLE CATALAN CONNECTIONS

Dalinian. As recalled in his “Memorias”, by 1947, at barely the age of twenty, Manolo Millares had already read a crucial triad of books: “Diario de un marchand de cuadros” by Ambroise Vollard; “Picasso antes de Picasso” by Alexandre Cirici Pellicer and “The Secret Life of Salvador Dali”.[54] Having read Dalí was unquestionably a turning point for him, as one can readily infer during the opening of his exhibition “Exposición Superrealista”[55] at El Museo Canario in Las Palmas in late 1948, with twenty-four works, including six dedicated to “Poema de la Vida y de la Muerte”, a clearly surrealist inspired creative phase with evident echoes of Dali. The words of the artist himself are self-evident:

That same year a book fell into my hands that shook me to the roots. It was ‘My Secret Life’ (sic.) by Salvador Dalí, an autobiography of sorts with reproductions of paintings that showed me a whole new strange world of dreamlike surrealism. I also read ‘Picasso antes de Picasso’ by Alexandro Cirici Pellicer (sic.), a good book about the early period of the genius from Malaga. Influenced by the former, I started to work with surrealism, because I came to the understanding that art now had other roads very different from the ones that I had been on. It was not just a mere copy divested of reality, but the discovery of that reality in creative freedom and concepts. I worked diligently and —with the help of some poets who wrote poems on the paintings— I prepared a new exhibition at the Museo Canario, which aroused plenty of discussion.[56]

We now know that this influence was early and brief, limited to this superrealising experience and, undoubtedly, it would be terminated after Dalí’s widely reported conference at Teatro María Guerrero in Madrid in 1951. With the new political regime now in place, Dalí announced the arrival of clarity, something that proved so frustrating for the young artists and critics who awaited his words with great expectation.[57] It would come as no surprise that, one year later, in LADAC, we would read about “Salvador Dalí’s dubious mystic inventions.”[58] Having said that, some years later there would be a reencounter: in 1962, Manolo Millares sent Dalí his major monograph, written by José Ayllón,[59] which included a reproduction of “Cuadro 157” (1961) by the artist, and the portrait taken by Pomés with which we opened this essay was used to illustrate the book. Dalí wrote to thank him for a publication of one of his exhibitions:[60] “Thanks for your book. In Cuadro 157 my name ‘DALI’ appeared in the guise of formless teeth. Warm regards. Gala and Salvador Dalí, 1962”. In the text Dalí called Millares one of the two “best informalist painters” (the other being Tápies):

Since Velázquez one can argue that the world of painting revolves around Spain; without the Prado Museum there would be no Impressionism, without Juan Gris and Pablo Picasso there would be no Cubism, without Miró and Dalí there would be no Surrealism. Today, the best informalist painters, Tàpies and Millares, are Spanish, and without Fortuny, whose famous splashes possess the “quantum of action”, there could not have been the imminent realism quantified by abstract artists, that new energy parallel to Fortuny’s dynamism, the energy of nuclear physics of Max Planck.

Another intractable Kleeian. The shadow of Dau al Set. An artist with a Kleeian lineage in the early fifties, Millares venerated Paul Klee, one of Westerdahl’s[61] objects of cult which, at once, helped to forge a bond of brotherhood with Dau al Set, legitimate heirs to Kleeian presentiments, to borrow from Cirlot.[62] At this juncture it is worth recalling Dau al Set’s early tribute to Klee in 1950, to commemorate the tenth anniversary of his death, led by Joan Josep Tharrats.[63] One would also have to recall the numerous occasions in which Club 49 and the Hot Club illustrated their output with reproductions of works by Klee.[64] In late 1950 the work of Millares had already been mentioned in a monographic text by Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño published by Dau al Set[65] and, ultimately, Millares would associate those years with Cuixart (one of the first letters sent to Catalan circles, in 1950).[66] As Sebastià Gasch was to write about Ponç, all the painters of that time would end up paying tribute to Klee,[67] who would prove to be a fertile runway for later flights. This much could also be gleaned from our own follower of Klee, the young Manolo Millares, in 1950: “(…) it would be Picasso, Rouault, Klee and others that will represent our era in the future, whether or not they are understood by their contemporaries.”[68] The artist from the Canaries was to frequently repeat his assertions, though more scornful of Dalí and Picasso later on, yet always singing the praises of Miró and Klee. “What were the main influences? ‘The aboriginal art from the Canaries (painted ceramics and mummified bodies), Miró, Goya, Castile, contemporary art, society today…`.”[69]

His pictograms from the beginning of the fifties, which he described in his early correspondence with Santos Torroella (indented signs, stars or forms floating in space, constellations of calligraphies), allowed him to intertwine local elements, paintings and inscriptions seen in the caves of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Canary Islands, plus of course the world of signs evoked by Miró and Klee, with their poetic, ancestral and unfathomable ritual. All of this would lead Millares to delve into the infinite depths of mystery, to pierce and excavate in search of the oft-mentioned lost dimension in his early burlap works and showing how it was possible to make the Kleeian seed grow.[70] For the Catalan critic, El Paso had all the air of a changing of the guard inasmuch as a coherent group, along with Dau al Set, that demanded new attention.[71]

LADAC-LAIS, 1951-1952. In 1949 the artist Plácido Fleitas had an exhibition at Galerías Layetanas, in Barcelona, and he stayed in the city for several months. During his time there he came into contact with many artists from the Dau al Set group and this facilitated an encounter between Barcelona and the art world in the Canaries. Fleitas showed Santos Torroella some of Manolo Millares’s first drawings, as reported by the critic: “Plácido showed me a few things of yours that I really liked. We spoke about the possibility of an exhibition of your work here.”[72] Manolo Millares seemed to pick up Santos Torroella’s challenge in 1951 when he said: “a pity we are all so isolated”[73], before rehearsing an exchange between the arts in the Canary Islands and mainland Spain, by means of an interchange of activities between LADAC (Los Arqueros del Arte Contemporáneo) and the equally short-lived group LAIS.

It was to be a round-trip journey. In March 1951 fifty works by members of the LAIS group went on exhibit at El Museo Canario, in Las Palmas, with a prologue by LADAC[74] and, at the same time, in June that year, the members of LADAC showed their work at Galería Syra in Barcelona. In these years (1951-1952) there were many other collective projects by LADAC that included works by Catalan artists, (especially Planasdurà and Surós)[75] or the organisation of exhibitions, like the one dedicated to drawing in Las Palmas in 1953, which included work by the much-admired Antoni Tàpies.[76] At the same time, there were many group exhibitions in Catalonia including work by Canarian artists. Besides a monograph by LADAC, dedicated to Planasdurà, written by Gaya Nuño, we know that LADAC had planned the publication of monographs dedicated to Santi Surós (by Sebastià Gasch) and Cuixart (written by Santos Torroella)[77].

Gustavo Gili. The shadow of Cirlot has always hovered over the artist’s connection with Gustavo Gili Torra.[78] When he published the Spanish edition of the aforementioned classic “Los Pintores Célebres” (1963), Gili invited Millares to look for the critic who he believed would be best suited for the book’s addendum on Spanish art,[79] having in mind an interview between the two to be published in the book. He would later be the editor on many occasions for the artist, both for his graphic work as well as for his publications. For instance, one of Millares’s most beautiful graphic works: “Antropofauna” (1969-1970), a portfolio of five etchings exhibited at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in 1971,[80] was printed by the artist in Gustavo Gili’s print shop in Barcelona (there are some wonderful photos of the artist at work) for the Las Estampas de la Cometa collection.[81] In 1970 another of his prints would serve as the special presentation of fifty copies of Moreno Galván’s book on Millares, also released by the publishers.[82] To my way of thinking, together with the monograph by França,[83] and the book by Ayllón,[84] this volume by Moreno Galván forms the key bibliographic triad on Millares during his lifetime.[85] In 1973, as part of the Letras del Arte collection, Gili published “Memorias de una excavación urbana”. Released posthumously, Gili wrote the foreword to the text (“the words of the artist himself”): “These writings, at time incoherent, tied to the verbal havoc of obscure grammar and also to his airs of a baroque past smuggled in through the back door, are no more than the mere yearning, passion, covetousness and frustration of men (contemporary man) that end up bogged down in absurdity and alienation. A question of fighting, of more or less licit aspirations ending in confusion and madness, the slow death that runs so quickly through our veins.”[86]

And the René Métras and Trece galleries. We were able to see Millares in the company of the collector Métras in the photo with which we began, of the artists from the El Paso group on their visit to Barcelona in 1959. After opening Galería René Métras in October 1962, Métras held two solo shows of the work of Manolo Millares, in 1966 and posthumously in 1973,[87] as well as exhibiting it regularly in numerous group shows.

The exhibition in 1966 featured recently created paintings and drawings from the previous year, and the handout for the exhibition included several verses by Rafael Alberti.[88] Rafael Santos Torroella and Joan Perucho penned reviews of his work for the show at Métras. Photos of the opening on the ninth of March in Barcelona show us, once again, Millares and Joan Prats, Brossa and Cuixart, among many other visitors.

And in 1976, now forty years ago at the time of writing, Galería Trece[89] in Barcelona was opened with an exhibition dedicated to Millares. It was to be the last occasion on which his work would be seen in the city. Around the same time, his paintings could be seen at the Venice Biennale[90] and his work was included in “Crónica de la pintura española de postguerra: 1940-1960”, the celebrated exhibition at Galería Multitud in Madrid, a city that was now almost centrifugal, celebratory and reconstitutive of the new times.[91] An extraordinary, truly great painter as Miró called him, I have always understood this sum of events that happened in 1976, civil numerology, as a recognition, now posthumous, of Manolo Millares’s true importance in the twentieth century. I would, however, still prefer to call him that strange, integral artist.

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This text and its contingent research could not have been undertaken without the support of Elvireta Escobio, and her daughters Coro and Eva Millares, to whom I wish to acknowledge my debt of gratitude.

This thanks is extended to Eduard and Jordi Mayoral, and also to Juan Manuel Bonet, who were instrumental in encouraging this essay on Manolo Millares work in Catalonia, which I now believe to be an act of justice.

  

And also to:

GLORIA BORDONS

RAFAEL CANOGAR

RUBÉN CERVANTES

FUNDACIÓ ANTONI TÀPIES

FUNDACIÓ BROSSA

FUNDACIÓ PILAR I JOAN MIRÓ A MALLORCA

JOAN GASPAR

MÓNICA GILI

NÚRIA HOMS

LAMBE Y NIETO TRADUCCIONES

MARGARET METRÁS

MARÍA ESTHER MOLINA COSTA

MUSEU DEL JOGUET DE CATALUNYA

EVA PASCUAL MIRÓ

JOAN PUNYET MIRÓ

CARLOS SAURA

NÚRIA SOLÉ BARDALET

SUCCESSIÓ MIRÓ

CAROLA TORRES MORENO

 

TRANSCRIPTIONS

ROSA JUANES

 

_______________________________

[1] Undated letter from the artist’s archive, though the content would suggest that it refers to the El Paso exhibition in 1959 in Barcelona. Brossa had collaborated with El Paso and the group had published “Barbafeca. Monoleg en un acte” in Boletín 8 (VIII/1958): “as a tribute and a sign of the El Paso group’s admiration for Brossa and his work.”

[2] JIMÉNEZ, Salvador. Entrevista a Joan Miró. Madrid: “Ronda/Iberia”, no. 30, c. 1980. We will return to it more extensively later.

[1] MORENO GALVÁN, José María. Millares, aujourd’hui. Paris: Galerie Messine, 1971.

[2] This expression was used by Antonio Saura. Explained in more detail: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. “Tiempo de cardo y ceniza” in Abstracción. Del grupo Pórtico al Centro de Cálculo. 1948-1968. Madrid: Galería Guillermo de Osma, 2015.

[3] We owe the reconstruction of this story to Carola Moreno Torres, daughter of Moreno Galván (23/I/2017).

[4] In 1964 he made a series of three sculptures, “nameless objects”, which he called “Artefactos para la paz” (Artefacts for Peace) exhibited for the first time at Galería Edurne in Madrid for one day only, Tuesday 18 May 1965, alongside works by Alberto Greco and a ZAJ concert. The title of the exhibition is “MILLARES, Tres artefactos al 25 (1963-64) / GRECO, cuadros / HIDALGO MARCHETTI, actuaciones”.

[5] Conversation I held with Leopoldo Pomés on 5/I/2017. There is correspondence in the artist’s archive that mentions sending three shots of the portrait and another of Elvireta. Letters from Leopoldo Pomés in January 1959 (undated) and on 18/II/1959.

[6] Letter from Juan-Eduardo Cirlot to Manolo Millares on 14/XII/1958. In the artist’s archive.

[7] In 1956 Millares’s “Muros” (Walls) evolved into two cycles of paintings: his compositions “with a lost dimension” and “with harmonic textures”. This set of works involved serious experimentation with material, essentially stripped back, and led the artist to the discovery of the potential of burlap. In the artist’s words, in 1956: “The only parallel for the unexpectedness that awaits me in the lost dimension of a plain burlap is the darkness and ungraspability of the unknown”. On the term “lost dimension” the artist wrote: “I do not admit a third fictitious, optical dimension, but a real, material dimension. This is what I call ‘lost dimension’, because its depth is real and, in consequence, does not break the frontality of the wall”. Cited in: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Manolo Millares. La destrucción y el amor. La Coruña: Fundación Caixa Galicia, 2006, p. 259.

[8] Sala Gaspar, Exposición de 4 pintores del grupo El Paso (Rafael Canogar, Luis Feito, Manuel Millares y Antonio Saura), Barcelona, 10-23 January 1959. Conversation held with Carlos Saura on 2/I/2017.

[9] “Thanks for your kind words; my greatest desire is to serve the cause of emotion and vivid thought. Unfortunately, or luckily, I have no positions, posts or titles that force me to uphold conventional postures, against which my intuition rebels. I believe that at the current moment in time that Informalism is the way forward for painting and sculpture, and even for poetry and music. The possibilities are vast, but always working with the truth, not using these images as a kind of mask. I have spoken of you to Gaspar, of Sala Gaspar, who tells me he might be able to set aside a fortnight for you next year. And he says that you should write to him. So, speak with Saura and the others and contact him directly to ask about particulars. I suppose you already have his address (no. 323 Consejo de Ciento). I would be delighted if you decide to come to Barcelona. The best thing would be at the beginning of the season, when the impact is stronger and uncontaminated, in short, in October or November”. Letter from Juan-Eduardo Cirlot to Manolo Milares. 8/I/1958. In the artist’s archive.

[10] In the words of Ángel Marsá: “(the exhibition) caused a considerable stir in local art circles, a stir that ranged from excited defence to a dramatic throwing up of hands in horror”. MARSÁ, Ángel. Grupo El Paso. Barcelona: “El Correo Catalán”, 24/I/1959, p. 10.

[11] The artist’s meeting with Westerdahl and, at once, the latter’s meeting with Santos Torroella are described in this essay and in the chronology on Millares’s first contacts with Barcelona. In 1949, the artist Plácido Fleitas showed Millares’s work to Santos Torroella. The activity of the Canary Islands group LADAC, in cooperation with the Catalan group LAIS, would lead to this first encounter.

SANTOS TORROELLA, Rafael. Manolo Millares y un puñado de cartas. Madrid: Museo Nacional Reina Sofía, 1992, p. 39. “In the year I was referring to, 1950, Millares had met Eduardo Westerdahl and, through him, he had entered into contact with some of the members of the Altamira school” (Ibid. p. 38). Referring to his exhibitions at Galería Jardín, run by Ángel Marsá: “on none of these occasions (…) did the young painter from the Canaries meet with the warm or, at least, the attentive reception that he had hoped for from the militant Barcelona critics. And he complained to me of it in his letters.” Ibid. pp. 38-29.

[12] On the bad review of the LADAC exhibition at Syra, that year, we have a letter from Sebastià Gasch to Manolo Millares, 30/VII/1951. In the artist’s archive. In his “Memorias”, Millares said: “An adverse review from poor Juan Cortés (completely clueless Catalan critic), was widely divulged by my fellow Canarians who used to read Destino”. MILLARES, Manolo (transcription by Juan Manuel Bonet). Manolo Millares. Memorias de infancia y juventud. Valencia: IVAM, 1998, p. 122. It is also true that the exhibition at Sala Gaspar received some almost insulting reviews like: DEL ARCO, Manuel. Visto y oído. Manolo Millares. Barcelona: “Destino”, 24/I/1959, p. 29.

[13] “The El Paso group wishes to thank the critics Juan-Eduardo Cirlot (Revista, 20-12-58) and Juan Teixidor (Destino, 17-1-59) as well as Galería Gaspar, Club 49, Barcelona, and Joan Prats, for the welcome extended to the members of the group in Barcelona. With a special mention for the charming presence of Joan Miró on the day of the opening”. Various. Noticia de El Paso. EL PASO 10. Madrid: April 1959.

[14] Those present in this Barcelona version of El Paso, with Feito being replaced by Manuel Rivera. It was Miró who recommended the work of the Canarian artist to Pierre Matisse as proved by a telegram from the same year of 1959 sent by Joan Miró to Millares. Miró’s introduction to the Pierre Matisse Gallery, where the exhibition Four Spanish Painters was held in 1960, coincided with the end of the public activity of the El Paso group (which was to publish the last Letter, number 15, in May that year). It also meant the beginning of a long relationship between Manolo Millares and the gallery run by Henri Matisse’s son where he had one-person shows in 1960, 1965, 1974 and 1987.

[15] A small puppet or currito with the head of a bull, to which Miró replied: “My dear friend, a thousand thanks for this wonderful bull, it’s magnificent! As exciting as a Goya from his crowning period.” Letter from Joan Miró to Manolo Millares. 9/I/1960. In the artist’s archive.

[16] Joan Miró, Diane d’Ephèse, 1958. Lithograph on Arches paper. Millares said of Miró: “What about Miró? Mystery. And what about Tàpies? Tàpies is silence”. SÁEZ, Ramón. Manolo Millares, frente al misterio de su pintura. Madrid: “Arriba”, 26/III/1967.

[17] JIMÉNEZ, Salvador. Entrevista a Joan Miró. Op. cit.: “(I recall and particularly esteem) Millares. Manolo Millares, yes, a great painter, an extraordinary painter (…) it was such a pity that he died on us so young. When I saw him in the Canaries for the last time, he was in death’s shadow. He is a truly great painter”.

[18] Various. Miró-Peintures sur papier, dessins. Paris: Maeght Éditeur, “Derrière le Miroir”, no. 193-194, X-XI/1971. Dedicated by Joan Miró: “to Elvirita / and Manolo Millares / Miró”.

[19] Joan Brossa admired Millares’s work since the beginning of the decade and, we will argue, he would admire it always. A letter in the archive of the Fundació Joan Brossa, sent by Joan Brossa to Madelon Belle (Zuyderhoff), (1959) mentions the visit of the three artists from El Paso to his studio in Calle Balmes. Registry no.: A.JBR.03493.097. Another letter from Millares to Brossa (13/II/1959), also kept at the foundation, recounts the Canarian artist’s appreciation of Brossa’s theatre. Registry no.: A.JBR.03519. Source: Gloria Bordons, Director of Fundació Joan Brossa (11/I/2017).

[20] ESCOBIO, Elvireta. Text in the catalogue Exposición homenaje a Josep Lluis Sert. Tenerife: Colegio de Arquitectos, 1972. Some of the memories she speaks about in this first paragraph come from a conversation I held with Elvireta Escobio (31/XII/2016). Recently Rafael Canogar also spoke about the same event, the visit to Joan Prats, in a conversation with this author on 10/I/2017.

[21] Letter from Joan Miró to Manolo Millares, from Son Abrines, 21/XII/1959. In the artist’s archive.

[22] Sala Gaspar (Galerie Stadler-Galerie Rive Droite, Paris and sponsored by Club 49), Otro arte, Barcelona, 16 February – 8 March 1957. Touring to Sala Negra, Madrid, 24 April – 15 May 1957. The provenance of the works was specified in the catalogue as follows, from Galerie Stadler: Appel, Bryen, Burri, Falkenstein, Francker, Guiette, Hosiasson, Imai, Jenkins, Mathieu, Riopelle, Saura, Salles, Serpan, Tàpies; from Galerie Rive Droite: Fautrier, Wessel; from private collections: Domoto, De Kooning, Pollock, Tobey, Wols; from Sala Gaspar: Lazlo Fugedy, Tharrats, Vila-Casas. The showing in Madrid added works by the following artists: Canogar, Feito and Millares.

[23] TEIXIDOR, Joan. Barcelona: “Destino”, 16/II/1957.

[24] TAPIÉ, Michel. Esthétique en devenir, Barcelona: Dau al Set, 1956. With an introduction and directed by Joan-Josep Tharrats. Printed by Ricard Giralt Miracle, Barcelona, 31/XII/1956. [Publication sponsored by Francesc Samaranch i Torrelló].

[25] CIRLOT, Juan-Eduardo. El Arte Otro. Barcelona: “El Correo de las Artes”, 23/II/1957, pp. 1-4.

[26] I am referring mainly to: Museo Nacional de Arte Contemporáneo, The New American Painting-La Nueva Pintura Americana, Madrid, July 1958.

[27] This last-named artist, under the heteronym Sancho Negro, would remember this moment and would dedicate some lines to Falkenstein, Appel and Mathieu, in that order. SANCHO NEGRO, heteronym of MILLARES, Manolo. Nueva Galería Punta Europa. Otro Arte (Falkenstein, Appel, Mathieu). Madrid: “Punta Europa”, no. 16, IV/1957, pp. 126-128.

[28] Spanish Pavilion, XXIX Biennale Internazionale d’Arte, Padiglioni delle Nazioni, Venice, 14 June-19 October 1958 (Dirección General de Relaciones Culturales, Madrid), with the artists Canogar, Feito, Millares, Rivera and Saura.

[29] Cuadro 23 (1957-1958); Cuadro 35 (1958-1959); Cuadro 37 (1958); Cuadro 39 (Homúnculo) (1958); Cuadro 42 (1958); Cuadro 43 (1958) and Cuadro 44 (1958).

[30] CIRLOT, Juan-Eduardo. El Paso 8- El grupo El Paso de Madrid y sus pintores, Canogar, Millares, Feito, Saura (En la Sala Gaspar, Consejo de Ciento, 323, Barcelona, del 10 al 23 de enero de 1959. Exposición de 4 pintores del grupo El Paso (Presentada por el Club 49 de Barcelona). Madrid: December 1958-January 1959. Letter by EL PASO-9.

[31] “He stayed in Madrid, where he was isolated, without recourses, and with barely any friends”. AYLLÓN, José. Millares. Madrid: Langa y Cia, Colección E.P., (p. 16). Published jointly with Galerie Daniel Cordier, Paris; Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York and Galería Biosca, Madrid.

[32] CIRLOT, Juan-Eduardo. El Paso 8- El grupo El Paso de Madrid y sus pintores. Op. cit.

[33] DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Salvador Victoria: Teruel-Paris-Teruel. Teruel: Museo de Teruel, 2011. “(…) a slow but steady exodus, as it is worth recalling that it not only looked towards France and South America: there is another, more complex side, the centripetal force, the forced displacement of artists to the centre of peninsula, to Madrid”.

[34] Mentioning the Picasso exhibition at Sala Gaspar in Barcelona. AYLLÓN, José. El Paso 1. Madrid: March 1957. And its epilogue, “Picasso en Barcelona”.

[35] WESTERDAHL, Eduardo. LADAC. Text in the catalogue: Galería Syra, LADAC DE GRAN CANARIA. FELO MONZÓN, JOSE JULIO, JUAN ISMAEL, MANOLO MILLARES, Barcelona, 16-30 June 1951.

[36] Ángel Marsá (Girona, 1900-Barcelona, 1988). “A writer of another time”, as Rafael Santos Torroella said about him in a letter to Manolo Millares, Barcelona, 18/IV/1951. In the artist’s archive.

[37] Which we know Millares did not visit. MILLARES, Manolo. Manolo Millares. Memorias de infancia y juventud. Op. cit., p. 122.

[38] Galería Clan, Exposición de pintura de Manolo Millares, Madrid, 17-30 November 1951.

[39] Galería de Arte Jardín, Manolo Millares, 3rd New Experimental Art Cycle, exhibition number 11, Barcelona, 5-18 May 1951. It featured seventeen paintings.

[40] Manolo Millares denied any relationship, which Ángel Marsá had insisted upon, with the work of Torres-García. SANTOS TORROELLA, Rafael. Manolo Millares y un puñado de cartas. Op. cit. pp. 43-44. In the letter dated 29/VIII/1951, Millares rejects observations on the theme of the Catalan press: “my constructivism (…) is not based on (…) Torres-García, but on a need for order in colour and in line (…)”. In Ibid. p. 43.

[41] A large part of the reviews of this exhibition picked up on this theme. It was also brought up again in the reviews of the LADAC exhibition and for his participation in the Jazz Salons. For instance: “The painter’s clock was stopped at a time well known to the people of Barcelona. That of Torres-García”. MANZANO, Rafael. Manolo Millares, en las Galerías Jardín. Barcelona: Solidaridad Nacional, 9/V/1951. This author would insist in the same terms when writing about the LADAC exhibition in Barcelona, in an article dated 27/V/1951. It is possible that Millares was referring to this subject when he talked about the repercussion of reviews on his work in the fifties with Santos Torroella. In one way, Marsá, responsible for sticking him with the Vibrationist label, backtracked: MARSÁ, Ángel. Manolo Millares en El Jardín. Barcelona: “El Correo Catalán”, 31/V/1952. This is possibly due, as one can read in his correspondence, to the insistence of the artist.

[42] Manolo Millares took part (from 1949 onwards) in founding the journal “Planas de Poesía” together with his brothers Agustín and José María Millares (and Rafael Roca after number nine), illustrating various of the issues. In correspondence with various people from Catalan cultural circles one can deduce that they were sent some issues of “Planas de Poesía”, therein establishing a first, early contact. “Planas de Poesía” (illustrations by Manolo Millares), 1949-1951: José María Millares, “Liverpool”; José María Millares, “Ronda de luces”; Alonso Quesada, “Smoking room”; a special issue dedicated to “Chopin” (before 1949); Federico García Lorca, “Crucifixión”, 1950 and Enrique Azcoaga, “El hombre de la pipa”, 1951 (11 drawings by Manolo Millares).

[43] There is irrefutable proof. SOLÁ FRANCO, Eduardo. Manolo Millares en Galerías el Jardín. Barcelona: “La Prensa”, 11/V/1951: “(…) this painter whom we had seen drawings by before in poetry magazines from the islands”.

[44] A visitor, as one can read in the press from the time, to Millares’s exhibition at El Jardín (1951), to whom he dedicated an early article, illustrated with his drawings, on the artist from the Canaries. GASCH, Sebastià. Plasticidad y poesía en la obra de M. Millares. Madrid: “Índice”, IX/1953.

[45] This can be inferred from the correspondence in the Manolo Millares archive. Gaya Nuño directed Galerías Layetanas (1948-1951) and facilitated Millares’s contact with Cuixart. Correspondence in the artist’s archive.

[46] MILLARES, Manolo-AZCOAGA, Enrique. El hombre de la pipa. Las Palmas: “Planas de Poesía” no. XIII, 1951 (11 drawings by Manolo Millares). The book is dedicated: “to juan antonio gaya nuño, enrique azcoaga, ángel ferrant, rafael santos torroella, tomas seral casas, jorge campos, enrique planas durá, ángel marsá, santi suros, modesto cuixart, sebastián gasch, juan ramón masoliver and eduardo clrlot, faceless friends, for the language of colour and the word” (sic.). A symbolic gallery preceded by a phrase by Orozco: “the truth at all costs”. We would include Masoliver as “Catalan”, given that he developed a large part of his life’s work in Barcelona.

[47] “Manolo Millares was born in the Canary Islands in February 1926”, reads a line of “Composición biográfica” from Brossa’s book “Poemes entre el zero i la terra”, from 1951. Source: Gloria Bordons, Director of Fundació Joan Brossa (11/I/2017). BROSSA, Joan. Poemes entre el zero i la terra (1951). In Ball de sang (1941-1954). Barcelona: Editorial Crítica (Col·lecció Sarrià, 8), p. 279.

[48] Letter in the Fundació Joan Brossa archives, sent by Joan Brossa to Madelon Belle (Zuyderhoff), (1959). Registry no.: A.JBR.03493.086. Also in 1959, Brossa would repeat his admiration for Millares in the letter: Registry no.: A.JBR.03493.087. He borrows the terms of praise from Jacques Dupin. In letter: Registry no.: A.JBR.03493.024. Source: Gloria Bordons, Director of Fundació Joan Brossa (11/I/2017).

[49] BROSSA, Joan. Poemes civils. Barcelona: Editorial RM, 1961 Dedicated to: “Elvireta and Manolo / in friendship / from / Brossa. December 1962”.

[50] I Congreso de Arte Abstracto, Santander, 1-10/VIII/1953. See the Chronology which includes the names of some of the Catalan artists taking part.

[51] As recounted in: “Leonardo”. Cara y cruz de la decena de arte abstracto. Barcelona: “Destino”, 5/IX/1953.

[52] After his marriage in 1953, “a new phase began for us. Our house became a meeting place for new —and valuable— values”. MILLARES, Manolo. Manolo Millares. Memorias de infancia y juventud. Op. cit. it also mentions how in 1953 he moved home to Calle Galileo. See p. 127. In Millares’s words, the house in Calle Galileo was a “centre for news and concerns” where he received “many (Spanish and foreign) magazines that help us all to keep abreast of what was happening in art, and we also had correspondence with some key artists from Madrid and Barcelona”. Ibid. p. 129.

[53] Reproduced in the chronology, a letter sent from Las Palmas, 13 June 1953.

[54] DALÍ, Salvador. The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí. New York: Dial Press, 1942.

[55] El Museo Canario, Exposición Superrealista de Manolo Millares, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 22 November-9 December 1948.

[56] MILLARES, Manolo. Manolo Millares. Memorias de infancia y juventud. Op. cit. pp. 110-111.

[57] The affair and a portrait of that moment are recalled in: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Tiempo de cardo y ceniza. Op. cit. DALÍ, Salvador. Picasso i yo. Facsímil de las cuartillas leídas por el pintor español Salvador Dalí en el teatro María Guerrero de Madrid el día 11 de noviembre de 1951. Madrid: “Mundo Hispánico”, year V, 46, 1952, pp. 37-42.

[58] “V. D.” (DORESTE, Ventura). LADAC. In the catalogue: Museo Canario, IV Exposición de Arte Contemporáneo organizada por LADAC, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1 June-15 July 1952.

[59] AYLLÓN, José. Millares. Op. cit.

[60] Saló del Tinell, Dalí, Barcelona, 15 October – 15 November 1962.

[61] Westerdahl’s admiration came about after a trip to Europe in 1931, visiting Germany and the Bauhaus headquarters in Dessau towards “the end of its splendour” (Gaceta de arte archive. el caso ‘bauhaus’ en alemania y su cierre en 1932. Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Gaceta de arte, no. 30, p. 3). His direct contact with his work, the revelation, in his own words, happened at Nationalgalerie in Berlin when contemplating the painting Das Vokaltuch der Kammersängerin Rosa Silber, thus certifying the Canarian critic’s admiration for “pure painters”, which for Westerdahl were represented by Klee and Kandinsky as an emblem of the so-called “spiritual revolution”.

[62] CIRLOT, Juan-Eduardo. Magicismo plástico, in Diccionario de los Ismos. Barcelona: Argos, 1949, p. 215. As he underscored from the first exhibition at Instituto Francés de Barcelona (1950).

[63] Hommage à Paul Klee. Barcelona: Dau al Set,15/VI/1950. Text in French by Joan-Josep Tharrats, illustrated with eight hand-coloured drawings; 8 pages. The deluxe copies also contained three original watercolours by Tharrats, mounted on black card. A commemorative issue for the tenth anniversary of Paul Klee’s death. Also included a four-page insert with a facsimile of a drawing by Klee: Fabourg de Beride, and opinions on the painter from Josep Maria de Sucre, Mathias Goeritz, Juan Antonio Gaya Nuño, Ángel Marsá and Juan-Eduardo Cirlot. Cirlot translated the first books published on Klee in the post-war period in Spain written by Joseph-Emile Muller, published by Gustavo Gili: Klee, Cuadrados mágicos y Klee, Figuras y máscaras (Barcelona, 1957 and 1961).

[64] Among other acts organised by Club 49 and Hot Club in Barcelona that were illustrated with works by Paul Klee: Revisión del film Los Nibelungos de Fritz Lang (25/XI/1953); Proyección de cinco grandes premios del documental francés (16/XII/1953); Ciclo de tres Audiciones integrales de los cuartetos de cuerda de Bela Bartok, con comentarios de Joaquin Homs y discoteca de Pere Casadevall (I/II/1954).

[65] GAYA NUÑO, Juan Antonio. Medio siglo de movimientos vanguardistas en nuestra pintura. Barcelona: Dau al Set, no. 19, XII/1950. It was a brief mention of the artist, within the context of art from the Canary Islands. And also, 1955, he was mentioned by Cesáreo Rodríguez Aguilera, a critic associated with Catalan circles, in his “Antología española de arte contemporáneo” (Barcelona: Editorial Barna, 1955).

[66] The first letter from Modest Cuixart to Manolo Millares is dated 24/XI/1950. He would exchange correspondence with Joan-Josep Tharrats around 1954, if we follow the correspondence of the latter, 1955, which speak of numerous letters without reply sent by Millares earlier. This was not the case with Joan Ponç, who was responsible for ripping one of Millares’s burlap works at the 4th Sao Paulo Biennial. The affair is narrated in: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. La contradictoria presencia del arte español en la IV Bienal de São Paulo. En IV Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna 1957 São Paulo-Brasil. Alzuza-Pamplona: Fundación Museo Jorge Oteiza, 2007, pp. 127-193.

[67] GASCH, Sebastià. La pujante personalidad de Juan Ponç. Barcelona: Destino, no. 772, 24/V/1952, p. 22.

[68] MILLARES, Manuel. Entrevista. Las Palmas de Gran Canaria: “Falange”, 12/II/1950.

[69] MILLARES, Manolo. Manolo Millares responde a Enrico Crispolti. In: DORIVAL, Bernard: Pintores célebres. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili S.A., Tomo III, 1963, p. 186. A Spanish version of the book of the same name published by Éditions d’art Lucien Mazenod (1948).

[70] In the words of Miró, reported by Tàpies. TÀPIES, Antoni. Memoria personal. Fragmento para una autobiografía. Barcelona: Seix Barral, 2003, p. 217. “Miró said: ‘More than the same painting, what matters is what it sows. Art can die, a painting can be destroyed. The important thing is the seed from which other things are born”.

[71] These are almost the textual words, coinciding with the exhibition at Sala Gaspar, by: TEIXIDOR, Joan. Los pintores de El Paso. Barcelona: “Destino”, Barcelona, 17/I/1959, p. 23.

[72] Rafael Santos Torroella, correspondence with Manolo Millares, Barcelona, 28/II/1951. In the artist’s archive. SANTOS TORROELLA, Rafael. Manolo Millares y un puñado de cartas. Op. cit., p. 39. Ángel Marsá would also mention this exhibition by Fleitas in his correspondence with Manolo Millares, Barcelona, 2/V/1951. In the artist’s archive.

[73] Rafael Santos Torroella, correspondence with Manolo Millares, Barcelona, 28/II/1951. In the artist’s archive. One the isolation of El Paso, see also: TEIXIDOR, Joan. Los pintores de El Paso. Op. cit.

[74] We recommend consulting the Chronology in this publication for the specific dates and detailed information. This exhibition did not include work by Molodell.

[75] Club de Universitarios, El dibujo en la joven pintura española, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 25 April-10 May 1953 (Salvador Aulestia; Ismael Balanyá; Joan Brotat; Joaquín Casellas; Elvireta Escobio; Will Faber; José Hurtuna; Juan Ismael; Marcel Martí; Jordi Mercadé; Manolo Millares; Felo Monzón; Joan Ponç; Luis Poveda; Antonio Saura; José María de Sucre; Santi Surós; Fredy Szmull; Antoni Tàpies and Joan-Josep Tharrats).

[76] Club de Universitarios, El dibujo en la joven pintura española, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 25 April-10 May 1953 (Organised by Santí Surós and Manolo Millares, including work by: Salvador Aulestia; Ismael Balanyá; Joan Brotat; Joaquín Casellas; Elvireta Escobio; Will Faber; José Hurtuna; Juan Ismael; Marcel Martí; Jordi Mercadé; Manolo Millares; Felo Monzón; Joan Ponç; Luis Poveda; Antonio Saura; José María de Sucre; Santi Surós; Fredy Szmull; Antoni Tàpies and Joan-Josep Tharrats). Our chronology transcribes a letter by Millares to Tàpies that same year.

[77] This was announced in the monographs. Thanks to Manolo Millares’s archive we know that Rafael Santos Torroella was the author proposed for the monograph on Cuixart.

[78] Gustavo Gili Torra (Barcelona, 1935-2008). Gili’s first correspondence with Millares dates from 1959. Gustavo Gili Torra, correspondence with Manolo Millares, Lugano, 22/VI/1959. In the artist’s archive.

[79] Gustavo Gili Torra, correspondence with Manolo Millares, Barcelona, 12/VI/1963 and 17/VI/1963. In the artist’s archive.

[80] Millares had thought about the subtitle “Tratado de nuevas especies locales”. Gustavo Gili Torra, correspondence with Manolo Millares, Barcelona, 10/VIII/1970. In the artist’s archive. On the subject of the relationship between Gili and Millares, and their work together for this edition, see: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Manolo Millares. La imperiosa necesidad de lo nuevo. Madrid-Toledo-Marbella: Fundación Juan March, Junta de Comunidades de Castilla-La Mancha, Museo del Grabado Español Contemporáneo, 2015.

[81] In 1964 the Gustavo Gili publishers started a collection of portfolios of prints called Las Estampas de la Cometa, at a workshop directed by Joan Barbarà which, between 1964 and 1977, made editions by: Joan Hernández Pijuan, Lucio Fontana, Modest Cuixart, Eduardo Chillida, Antonio Saura, Manolo Millares, August Puig, Hans Hartung, Equipo Crónica, José María Subirachs, Antoni Tàpies, Joan Miró, Bonifacio Alfonso and Erwin Bechtold. This portfolio by Manolo Millares was conceived as part of a wider agreement including the publication of the book by Moreno Galván for the Nueva Órbita collection (1970). Correspondence with Gustavo Gili. In the artist’s archive, dated 8/IV/1969 and 10/IX/1969.

[82] Gili thought highly of José María Moreno Galván and in 1963, given Crispolti’s delay in delivering his text, he offered him an opportunity to write in “Los pintores célebres”. Gustavo Gili Torra, correspondence with Manolo Millares, Barcelona, 26/VI/1963. In the artist’s archive. The work in question is: MORENO GALVÁN, José María. Manolo Millares. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili, Nueva Órbita collection, 1970.

[83] Posthumous, published by La Polígrafa in 1977.

[84] AYLLÓN, José. Millares. Op. cit.

[85] On the close friendship between the critic and the artist, see also: DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. José María Moreno Galván: Montando nuevamente la estructura de nuestra modernidad [o, mejor] del vertedero a la modernidad. Ayuntamiento de La Puebla de Cazalla, 2014-2015.

[86] MILLARES, Manolo. Memoria de una excavación urbana (Fragmento de un diario) y otros escritos. Barcelona: Editorial Gustavo Gili, Letras del Arte collection, 1973, p. 7. With 8 illustrations by the artist. Besides this text the original volume also included various other works, in the following order: “Sobre los muros” (1966-1971); the poem “Cuadro sin número” (1964); “Viaje a la Guayana” (1966-1971); “Sobre Picasso” (1971) and “Ante un dibujo de Eva que le salió igual a J. R.” (1966). The book was reedited with a foreword by Juan José Armas Marcelo: Madrid: Tauro Producciones, S.L., La Condición Insular collection, 1998. (Without illustrations, directed by Alfonso Meléndez). The Guillermo de Osma gallery published a bilingual Spanish-English re-edition in 2015. DE LA TORRE, Alfonso. Tocando la certeza de la letra. Madrid: Guillermo de Osma, 2015.

[87] Galería René Métras, Presencias de nuestro tiempo. Millares. Obra y pintura reciente 1965-1966, Barcelona, 9 March-12 April 1966 and Manolo Millares. Pinturas y Obras Originales, Barcelona, 9 October-9 November 1973. Among the group shows Millares participated in at the gallery are: Galería René Métras, Presencias, Barcelona, 1-30 June 1968; 10 años de Galeria René Métras, Barcelona, 1-30 October 1972; El Paso. XVII Aniversario, Canogar, Chirino, Feito, Millares, Rivera, Saura, Viola, Barcelona, 1 February-30 March 1974; Presencias de nuestro tiempo, Barcelona, 1-30 May 1975; Presències del Nostre Temps, 1962-1982, Barcelona, 5 November-5 December 1982 and Presencias de René Métras, Barcelona, 1-28 February 1995. We should not overlook Millares’s collaborations with “Correo de las Artes”.

[88] “The need to give expression to his terrible nightmares, in order to free himself from them, was what led to the special, tense and impassioned technique the artist used to render them. “And would we not have to understand Millares’s painting like that, mutas mutandi?”, wrote SANTOS TORROELLA, Rafael. Manuel Millares en su isla. Barcelona: “El Noticiero Universal”, 16/III/1966. Also see on his work: PERUCHO, Juan. El realismo agresivo de Manolo Millares. Barcelona: “Destino”, 26/III/1966.

[89] Galería Trece, Manolo Millares, Barcelona, 20 January – 14 February 1976. The gallery was located at number 49 Rambla de Catalunya.

[90] XXXVII Biennale Internazionale d’Arte: España. Vanguardia artística y realidad social: 1936-1976, Venice, 10 June-10 October 1976. Also exhibited at: Fundación Joan Miró, Biennal de Venècia. Avantguarda Artística i Realitat Social a l’Estat Espanyol 1936-1976, Barcelona, 18 December 1976-13 February 1977.

[91] Galería Multitud, Crónica de la pintura española de postguerra: 1940-1960, Madrid, October-November 1976.