Manolo Millares

Painting 150


Not on display

Manolo Millares 1926–1972
Original title
Cuadro 150
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 1308 × 1622 mm
Purchased 1963

Display caption

Millares began making collages in 1954 using materials such as wood, fabric and sand. From the beginning his work was characterised by the rough textures of his materials and by his way of tearing, bunching, tying and stitching his materials together. From the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s he employed a particularly austere colour range to create images from which, although abstract, a human figure seemed to emerge. Millares called this figure the homunculus, a term that he associated with ‘man in a primitive state’.

Gallery label, November 2011

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Catalogue entry

Manolo Millares 1926-1972

T00579 Painting 150 1961

Inscribed 'MILLARES' t.l. and 'MILLARES-CUADRO 150 (1961)' along top of stretcher, 'BASE' on bottom of stretcher
Oil on canvas, 51 1/2 x 63 3/4 (131 x 162)
Purchased from Arthur Tooth and Sons (Grant-in-Aid) 1963
Prov: With Arthur Tooth and Sons, London (purchased from the artist through the Galeria Biosca, Madrid)
Exh: La Nueva Pintura de España II, Arthur Tooth and Sons, London, January-February 1962 (20)
Repr: Il Contemporaneo, Nos.38-9, July-August 1961, facing p.209 as 'El Enano' (The Dwarf); Aujourd'hui, No.35, February 1962, p.48

Millares wrote on 6 March 1964 that this picture belongs to a series of paintings in black and white. This series was begun in 1956-7 and came to an end in 1963, though he continued to use austere colours (black, white, red, pink ...). Within this series was a further one which he called 'Homunculos', i.e. man in a primitive state. The first work of the 'Homunculos' type dated from 1958. All his paintings since 1957 had included some reference to human forms, always beginning with the organic and 'living' drama of man, the drama of his own country with all its political and social problems. The picture owned by the Tate was more figurative than most and therefore close to the 'Homunculos' theme.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.516, reproduced p.516

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