Manrique's supervision - he, indeed devoted his whole life to his native island
- the Island Council of Lanzarote created the Center of Arts, Culture and Tourism.
Each branch shows different aspects of the island's landscape and culture and
the three together synthesizes the charasteristics of Lanzarote thanks to the
talent and sensitiveness of the artist who was born there and felt a deep attachment
, a mixture of love and fascination, for his island as his works and words prove.
He was born in Lanzarote in 1919 and was famous in the Canary
Islands as early as 1938. In 1948 his work received the consecration it deserved
in Madrid. In 1963 some of his works were exhibited in America and the Press hailed
him, with all the honours due to his talent.Back in the Canary Islands in 1968,
Manrique sadly realized the harmful effects of tourism on the landscape. The fever
of building new hotels had seized developers and promoters, regardless of the
beauty of the environment. Manrique went back to Madrid, to fight a battle and
force the government to declare his island "a place of special interest for
Thus he became the one in charge of initiatives and decisions concerning the protection
and development of the island : no more aggressive advertizing, but white-washed
houses, clearly restricted tourist zones instead, and blocks of flats of four-storeys
maximum, in keeping with the style of the island.From then on, Manrique settled
in Lanzarote and dedicated all his time to his life's work : Lanzarote. He built
his own house in lava caves in Taro de Tahiche, later it became The César Manrique
Foundation. It was completed in 1968, on a lava flow dating back to the eruption
of 1780-1786. The lower part occupies five amazingly spacious caves, which shows
how to use natural space wisely. The exterior and the upper part are inspired
by the traditional architecture of the island.
Here and there, all over the island, Manrique created original pieces of work
which blend with the particular landscape of the island to perfection. He also
took care of the planning and development of the tourist complex of Costa Teguise.
Unfortunately Manrique, who was a painter, a sculptor and architect, an environmentalist,
the curator of monuments, a technical construction adviser, a designer and coodinator
in the creation of landscapes and urban complexes,died in a car-crash in 1992.
He still had plans for Lanzarote and the Canary Islands at large.
Manrique was the
representative of Spanish Committee for the MaB Program. He was a pioneer when
he proposed to declare Lanzarote a reserve of the Biosphere, by encouraging a
process whose result he could not see, unhappily. His works, integrated in the
landscape under the name symbiosis Art-Nature / Nature-Art, was considered one
of the elements which inspired the declaration, for it is an example of man's
harmonious action on his environment.
Manrique's works, his thoughts and his proposals concerning his native island
have been steps towards an "acceptable development" long before the
expression was created.
His works in Lanzarote : Jameos
del Agua, Fundación
de Manrique, Castillo
de San Miguel, Cueva
de los Verdes, Restaurante del Diablo - Montañas
del Fuego, Jardín
de Cactus, Mirador del Río, Monumento
al Campesino, Móviles...