César Manrique (1919–1992) was a Spanish artist, sculptor, architect, and activist from Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. He was a multifaceted artist whose work encompassed various forms of creative expression, including painting, sculpture, architecture, and landscape design.
Early Life and Education
Born on April 24, 1919, in Arrecife, Lanzarote, Manrique showed an interest in art from a young age. He fought in the Spanish Civil War and later studied architecture at the University of La Laguna. However, he left these studies to attend the Art School of San Fernando in Madrid, where he graduated as a teacher of art and painting.
Manrique’s art was influenced by surrealism and abstraction, and he became an important figure in the Spanish art scene. He held exhibitions in major cities like New York and Paris and received various awards for his work.
Architectural and Environmental Work
Manrique is perhaps best known for his architectural and environmental work in Lanzarote. He played a significant role in shaping the island’s development, promoting a harmonious blend of traditional Canarian architecture with modern design. His influence can be seen in various landmarks on the island, such as the Jameos del Agua, the Cactus Garden, and his own home, which is now a foundation in his name.
He advocated for responsible tourism and environmental conservation, working to prevent high-rise buildings and billboards that could spoil the natural beauty of Lanzarote. His efforts have left a lasting legacy on the island, helping to preserve its unique landscape and cultural heritage.
Death and Legacy
César Manrique died in a tragic car accident near his home in Lanzarote on September 25, 1992. His influence continues to be felt not only in the Canary Islands but also in the broader art and architectural communities. His commitment to integrating art, nature, and local traditions has made him a symbol of sustainable development and an inspiration to many.
The César Manrique Foundation continues to promote his ideals and preserve his work, ensuring that his innovative approach to art and the environment continues to inspire future generations. To visit his museums and learn more about his life please visit https://fcmanrique.org/en/casas-museo-visitas/