César Manrique, the plastic of the fire land


The land cracked in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean to vomit fury of fire and destruction. With the passage of time and the perennial movement of the sea, several volcanic islands, the Canary Islands, emerged from the ocean surface off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, able to support life, to resist forces resulting from the North wind and the impetuous overflow of the sea.

Between volcanoes and still when hot matter oozed from Earth’s interior, an artist was born, a person who seemed to lead a dialogue with nature and understand all natural cataclysm of this place and be part of it. His work explored with general curiosity the magnificence of this place, which led him to the smell of scorched earth and molten rock.

His works in painting, sculpture, and architecture faced all the chaos petrified there, for contemplation and enjoyment. Fishing and agriculture issues involving local people is one of the favourite topics of César and was a source of inspiration for a new plastic expression that was to reach beyond the boundaries of island culture. From those hills with red skin reflection of a living space bathed in magnificent sunlight, LANZAROTE shouted into the wind so that the human being knew the wonder of living in harmony with nature.

Among his most important works we find the mural “La Pesca”, “La vendimia” and “El viento”. Cesar Manrique’s most famous sculptures are the Wind Toy and “Fecundidad”. He also constructed the Jameos del Agua cave, with its well known “Auditorio natural” and “El Mirador del Rio” in Lanzarote. With the hands full of paint and fired clay he created spaces where the visitor could interact with his natural environment. Cesar Manrique left a legacy not just on Lanzarote, but across the Canaries. His art highlights the importance of developing landscape by creating a safe, respectful and inclusive environment with absolute respect for it.

After reading this article: Do you think it is possible to build sustainable architecture at market prices?

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