César Manrique (Arrecife Lanzarote, 1919-1992) studied Fine Arts in Madrid.
Key Element in Lanzarote opening to tourism with its distinctive art-nature bet.
He conceived the network of resorts that distinguish the volcanic island as a tourist destination.
The artistic vein tanned under the cliff and beach of Famara. After studying in Madrid and stay in New York, Manrique returned to his native Lanzarote to mid 60s assumes a basic role in shaping the volcanic island as a tourist destination.
His ideas of art and nature came together in a neat public works, camouflaged in the insular landscape, put in value natural assets of Lanzarote Jameos del Agua, the adequacy of Timanfaya and the Mirador del Río composed his most acclaimed interventions.
The resort of Lanzarote not be understood without the artistic dimension of César Manrique. Since childhood, the Lanzarote creator (1919-1992) was a lover of the abrupt nature of the island of volcanoes. Your Family Vacation in Caleta de Famara, sheltered from the splendid cliff of Famara and its majestic beach provided the young Manrique full connection with nature.
The artistic vein was developed at an early age then taking in his studies of Fine Arts in Madrid. Manrique extends his trip off the island with a key period in New York. In the capital of the world he lived two years in the mid-60s, seething pop art and the new sculpture. It is a time when the artist turns into the paint.
Art and nature
His return to Lanzarote occurred in a prime time. Coinciding with the presidency of the Island Council José Ramírez Cerdá and opening up the island to tourism. The political-artistic society worked perfectly. The love of nature and architecture of Manrique Lanzarote projected on a tourism model that sought the distinction.
In 1966 the first center of art, culture and tourism opened Lanzarote: Jameos del Agua. The work product of binomial art and nature, reflects a careful landscape intervention with remnants of the artistic universe lived by Caesar. A history of environmental mime, which will bring new public infrastructure placing value on the natural environment of the island is well outlined.
Jameos international recognition
A Jameos intervention was followed by adequate access to Timanfaya Natural Park and the restaurant El Diablo. Lanzarote opens the doors to its most precious jewel: the thousands of hectares of volcanic badlands which together paint a unique scenery in the world. In the late 60s and early 70s of the twentieth century, Manrique starring his most florid years: Monumento al Campesino, Mirador del Rio and the International Museum of Contemporary Art Iare incorporated into the network of cultural spaces manriqueños.
Do not neglect the architectural aspect of the artist. In particular admiration for the traditional urbanism of Lanzarote. Maintaining that profile so characteristic of the houses, whitewashed houses, wooden doors and windows, is due largely to the spread of Manrique for seeking a distinctive sign. Caesar was a scholar of traditional island architecture (edited a book with pictures and reflections about Architecture unpublished) and his enthusiasm for conservation colonized and conditioned the urban structures of the towns of Lanzarote.
The result of the artistic process of César Manrique on his island brought acclaim and international recognition (among other awards received the World Prize for Ecology and Tourism in 1978). For decades, Lanzarote kept itching different destination. The manriqueña connection with nature and maintained interventions also influenced the declaration of the island as a Biosphere Reserve (title awarded by UNESCO in 1993).
In parallel, throughout this hyperactive stage, the artist continued his great passion, painting, and other forms of expression as its most curious wind toys that populate some strategic points in Lanzarote.
The legacy of Manrique
The career of Caesar was sprinkled with some periods of social activism. Coinciding with the tour developmentalism in Lanzarote, Manrique sought to place limits on excessive planning. Your media and writing manifestos in favor of sustainable land use planning raids were also extended to be at street protesting as one, against colonization of the island coastline of new fleets of hotels and apartments.
Although the island was not spared of the housing bubble of the late twentieth and early twenty-first, the work of awareness of this artist was reflected in a better urban planning in comparison to other islands in the Canaries.
The legacy of public works and its particular stamp on the destination of Lanzarote in 1990 he joined Jardín Cactus of Guatiza. Manrique other infrastructure designed art-nature outside the island: Lake Martíanez of Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife), the viewpoints of El Palmarejo and La Peña (La Gomera and El Hierro respectively) or Mediterranean seaside park ( Ceuta) composed some of his most significant interventions.
Maintaining his legacy and the vital importance of Manrique in the history of Lanzarote was out with the birth of César Manrique Foundation in 1992. Months before his sad demise, the artist put everything on their part to the start of the activity this entity in charge of keeping his work on the island of volcanoes. The César Manrique Foundation is located in the former residence of the creator, in Taro Tahíche, another magnificent display of art and nature, which in practice operates as a resort over Lanzarote. Very close to his domain, just 300 meters specifically, César Manrique died after an unfortunate accident.