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

In the 1950's Millares created dramatic assemblages in which he allowed layers of oil to mix with sand, wood and rough sackcloth. The sackcloth was used to provoke the  question of the place art has in current society. Millare's shaped the sackcloth and then went on to sew it and tears it up before drenching it in colours. The broken state of the sackcloth acted as a metaphor for the condition of human life. The tears in the fabric indicated wounds.

Millares fused together a variety of materials in his abstracts. He counterbalance the ancient and with the modern. Manolo Millares was working during a time of great sorrow: the Spanish civil war, the devastation in the village of Guernica and the concentration camps in Europe. His pieces were a reflection of this crisis and acted as a warning to humankind. His harsh messages was conveyed through the soiled materials which created powerful voice that has few counterparts in the post-modern art history in the 19th century.

Millares' work features a dark palette used to create a send of mystery.  Cuadro 51,1959, portrays Manolo Millares undeniable passion through the  way in which he created an "explosion" using his chosen materials. Millares was inspired by the mummified remains of the Canary Islands' indigenous peoples, "The Guanches", in a museum in Las Palmas.

The piece is from the Morton G Neumann Collection. Mr and Mrs G Neumann, of Chicago, purchased Millares' work in 1961 from Galerie Daniel Cordier in Paris. Their art collection was inherited by their children who sold parts of it to fund inheritance taxes. Manolo Millares Cuadro 51, was  sold 2 May, at Christie's "Sale Shaler" sale in New York. Since then it has been in an important European collection.

Morton G Neumann, an industrialist, and his wife Rose collected art during the 1940's after a trip to Europe. The relations Neumann had connections with gallerists' Pierre Matisse, Daniel Cordier, Henry Kahnweiler and Sidney Janis. They visited European artists including Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger and Man Ray. Their children began collecting art with them,  which became a family tradition for three generations. Modern works by Rothko, Rauschenberg, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Basquiat and Koons are in the family collection.

Cuadro 51 is estimated at $693 000 and will be on sale in Bukowskis Modern auction, April 21-22. Check out the catalogue here.

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