Artist César Manrique and his legacy: where art and nature meet
By WGSN Insider

Artist César Manrique was born in Lanzarote where his groundbreaking art and design legacy lives. WGSN’s Maria Sylvia Llamozas went to explore.

Aug 24, 2016
/

7 photos
Like

When I visited Lanzarote this summer, my expectation was to lose myself in the vast nature that this volcanic island has to offer. Being one of the least populated of the Canary Islands, I imagined seeing very little culture, right? Wrong! I discovered an amazing island and the work of a remarkable man: César Manrique.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.55.59 PM Lanzarote Photos fb-105

Manrique and Lanzarote are linked together in a way that discovering one, means discovering the other. He was born in Lanzarote in 1919 and was a multidisciplinary artist: painter, architect, sculptor, ecologist and landscape gardener (among others) who reached success in New York as a painter. Then in the mid 1960’s, aged 48, he returned to his birthplace with the mission to show Lanzarote to the world from his unique point of view.

The main fundament of his work was to exalt nature with every creation so that each paved street, home, sculpture or garden would pay a tribute to the volcanic scenery. He created a new ideal where art and nature meet. He got to know the humble locals to learn and understand how to adapt and create life in one of the most inhospitable places on Earth. And left a legacy on how life should be developed in Lanzarote without ever disrespecting the environment.

Lanzarote Photos fb-383

César Manrique wind sculpture

But his labour was not always peaceful; he fought unplanned urbanism and defended his vision to the point where he would go out at night to remove all advertising ads. Lanzarote is still up to this date, probably the only place in Europe with no advertising ads.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.56.18 PM

Taro de Tahiche

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.55.50 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.55.39 PM

His passion for life is reflected in all his works. Imagine listening to an orchestra perform inside a cave, eating a meal cooked by geothermal heat (the heat from inside a volcano) or enjoying the view from the highest mountain ridge. All of Manrique’s works: Jameos del Agua, Cueva de los verdes, Mirador del agua and Taro to name a few, achieved this with the convergence of nature, modernism and art.

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 3.55.30 PM

He died in a car crash 50mts. away from his foundation in 1992. But left all “Conejeros” (Lanzarote’s demonym) with the heritage of not only his works but also the knowledge and awareness to respect the islands further growth. Cesar Manrique’s vision of sustainability and ecology remain a valid and current reference on how man and nature can indeed coexist in harmony.

 

See more at the Cesar Manrique Foundation

Picture credit: All photos by Francisco Blanco.

 

 

Like this? Check out Maria’s blog celebrating photographer Vivian Maier and her influence on street style photography here. 

Want more? Join WGSN for our global art calendar, city by city guides and intel on the hottest new retail and art openings.


Artist César Manrique and his legacy: where art and nature meet
0 comments

Name
Please enter a valid name
Please enter a valid name
Email
Please enter a valid email address
Please enter a valid email address
Website
Please enter a valid website
Please enter a valid website
Add a comment...
Please enter a valid comment


Related stories

Wool BnB: London's coolest new accommodation is solely made of wool

2 min
Colombia 101: The Breathtaking Art of Medellín

4 photos
Not for Sale: The latest female art pop-up hits Brooklyn

8 photos
London Fashion Week S/S17: The top five most elaborate catwalks

fashion film illustrator
Benjamin Seidler: The illustrator blending art, movies and fashion