Rivera-Millares. Éthique de la réparation
Mayoral is pleased to present the first retrospective that brings together the artists Manuel Rivera (1927-1995) and Manolo Millares (1926-1972). Rivera-Millares. Éthique de la réparation, which will be on view in Paris from 14 January to 3 April, 2021, offers an entirely new and intimate dialogue between two artists who rank among the most representative of Post-War Spain. First shown in Paris, the exhibition will later travel to our Barcelona gallery where additional works will be on view.
PREVIEW OF WORKS
Manuel Rivera, Composición 8, 1957
Mixed media (wire mesh, wire and metal) on iron stretcher
100 x 72.5 cm
Manolo Millares, Cuadro 64 (3), 1959
Mixed media on burlap
129.5 x 162 cm
Manuel Rivera, Metamorfosis, 1959
Mixed media (wire mesh and wire) on wood stretcher
130 x 89 cm
ESSAY BY THE CURATOR, CARLES GUERRA
Memories of the Material
Rivera and Millares, in an Untimely Country
〔…〕When we approach the works of Manuel Rivera (Granada, 1927 – Madrid, 1995) and Manolo Millares (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1926 – Madrid, 1972), more than 50 years after their respective public appearances, we feel that they too established themselves outside history and in an untimely manner. This is an essential quality when it comes to understanding them. Nevertheless, it is a condition lost after so many years circulating in international museums and collections, this having certified them as modern artists.
To gain a precise idea of the context of Rivera and Millares we need to place them side by side. We need to compare them not only with each other, but seeking a broader framework. They both emerge at the beginning of the 1950s in a dual postwar period, following the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War. Any display of modernity was unlikely in those conditions. Franco’s Spain unequivocally denied freedom of public expression. Even so, these two artists consolidated their position in a short space of time. They both became representatives of a singular abstraction which enjoyed an enthusiastic international reception. However, they soon obtained a recognition which was not free from contradictions. The IV Bienal do Museo de Arte Moderna of São Paulo, Brazil, held in 1957, was the scenario for this emergence. On that occasion, Millares and Rivera displayed a genuinely modern type of work. Its differential aspects arose, to a large extent, from the iconic nature of the materials and from an ambiguous identity as regards painting… keep reading
Carles Guerra (Amposta, 1965) has pursued a career in art criticism, teaching and research. He has been director of Primavera Fotogràfica, director of the Virreina Centre de la Imatge, chief curator at MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and, from 2015 through 2020, executive director at Fundació Antoni Tàpies. His main line of research has often delved into dialogical practices, in the field of both art and visual culture. Critical pedagogies, documentary practices and the working conditions of cultural production under Post-Fordism have been a predominant subject in his many publications. He has been associate professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and faculty member at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College. On top of a vast number of monographic exhibitions devoted to individual artists such as Perejaume, Joaquim Jordà, Xavier Ribas, Ahlam Shibli, Art & Language, Allan Sekula, Susan Meiselas, Harun Farocki, Oriol Vilanova and Ariella Aïsha Azoulay, he has curated projects like 1979. A Monument to Radical Instants and Antoni Tàpies. Political Biography. These last two projects responded to an ongoing commitment to rethink the legacy of modernism from a perspective that urges us to articulate a potential history of our past.