9476666_bukobject Manolo Millares, Cuadro 51, 1959
Image via Bukowskis

During the 1950's the artist created dramatic assemblages in which he let layers of oil mix with sand and pieces of wood as well as rough sackcloth. The sackcloth was used as a provocation for questioning the place art has in current society. Millare's let the sackcloth be shaped and thereafter sewn, torn up and drowned in colours. Its brokenness became a metaphor for the condition of human life as the tears in the fabric quite possibly represented wounds.

The abstract artworks featured a fusion of different materials, balancing between the ancient and the modern, between archeology and contemporary. Manolo Millares art was created in an era that was inflicted with tragedy following  the events of the civil war in Spain, the horrors of the village of Guernica and the concentration camps in Europe; war, horror and injustice. His artworks were a tribute and a warning to humanity. His brutal poetry was given a voice through the tattered materials which created an extremely powerful persona that has few counterparts in the post-modern art history in the 19th century.

Millares' artwork radiated a mystery, which he created through a dark and limited palette where the black and red were used to construct meaning. The painting on sale at Bukowskis is dated 1959, it conveys Manolo Millares unmistakable passion and uncompromising way in which he created an  "explosion" using sand, sackcloth, strings and chunks of paint. Millares was inspired by the mummified remains of the Canary Islands' indigenous peoples, "The Guanches", which he saw in a museum in Las Palmas.

This artwork comes from one of Chicago's premiere collections, The Morton G Neumann Collection. Mr and Mrs G Neumann bought the painting in 1961 from Galerie Daniel Cordier in Paris. Following Mr and Mrs G Neumann's death, the extensive art collection was inherited by their children who sold parts of it to fund inheritance taxes. Manolo Millares  Cuadro 51, was sold at Christie's "Sale Shaler" sale  in New York, 2nd May 1985. The artwork has since  been part of an important European collection where it remained until today.

Morton G Neumann was a successful industrialist, who along with his wife Rose began collecting art in the 1940's following a trip to Europe. With a passion for art and good relations to the foremost gallerists' Pierre Matisse, Daniel Cordier, Henry Kahnweiler and Sidney Janis, Mr Neumann bought contemporary art. He visited European artists such as Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger and Man Ray, whose artwork he acquired. Over the years they involved their children in collecting art which became a family tradition for three generations. Modern works by Rothko, Rauschenberg, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Basquiat and Koons are now part of the family's collection.

Cuadro 51 is estimated at £463 000 and will be on sale in Bukowskis Modern auction on 21st-22nd April. Check out the catalogue here.

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