We are celebrating the extraordinary life and work of Artist and Architect Cesar Manrique, someone who saw nature work as at the pinnacle of good design, and treated it as such, only working to enhance the places he found rather than fight against them. His resulting work is both athletically and philosophically beautiful and timeless.His early life was spent in Lanzarote, before moving to Madrid after receiving a scholarship to Art school of San Fernando. He later moved to New York where he was already making a name for himself, mixing with 1960’s creative elites such as Andy Warhol and then Governor of New York and business mogul Nelson Rockefeller, who was so enamoured by his work that he granted him the money to rent his own studio.
It is said the Cesar never truly settled into the big city life of New York despite his success and after two years was drawn back to his childhood home of Lanzarote. It was here that his work really exploded into what we see today, using the Earth as his canvas and creating the iconic buildings that make up Lanzarote’s most stunning buildings. He deep love of his birthplace saw him successfully lobby the government to outlaw the building of high rise blocks the blighted the natural landscape of the neighbouring islands, to concentrate their efforts on sustainable development, he was later rewarded for his efforts with the World Ecology and Tourism Award in 1978, and the Europa Nostra Award for conservation in 1986.
“For me it was the most beautiful place on Earth and I realised that if people could see it through my eyes, they’d think the same.”
His iconic style was routed in the use of the landscape as the starting points for his creations, often building into Lanzarote’s ancient volcanic lava bubbles to highlight and celebrate what nature has given us. He believed that art and nature should sit harmoniously together, with each enhancing one another.
“To be absolutely free to create without fear or formula heartens the soul and opens a path to the joy of living.”
We highly recommend a tour of his creations (once we’re allowed) for more infor mation head to The Cesar Manrique Foundation
You can see more of the great mans work and vision in a film about his life available HERE.