Artwork Detail

Cuadro No. 82 (Painting No. 82)
Spanish, 1926–1972
Oil on torn burlap
39 x 52 1/4 "
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard K. Weil, 1972
WU 4498
© Manolo Millares / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Manolo Millares was associated with Spanish informalismo, a postwar form of artistic expression characterized by dense materiality, intentionally crude paint application, and unconventional materials such as wire, burlap, and sand. Millares’s version of abstraction was embedded in the political context of postwar Spain, both its newfound internationalism and the brutality of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco’s repressive regime. Millares utilized aspects of international abstract and expressive painting that he would have seen in exhibitions throughout Europe, including Documenta 2 in 1959. His work embodies explicit violence; he often ripped apart the surface, leaving gaping holes. Painting No. 82 is one such work, from a series made of torn and stained burlap. Here the canvas leaves part of the support bare, opening up the pictorial space like a wound and suggesting the potential for destruction and transience as it intruded into everyday life at the time. [Permanent collection label, 2016]