Nothing could be more quintessentially New York than this wonderful view of Times Square painted in 1969 by Manel Anoro, a great name in contemporary art. This dreamlike Mid Century landscape shows swirling bright lights and neon with dark buildings looming above the bustle, all surmounted by billboards that are quaintly lit by only a row of floodlights - this was before all the giant video screens of today. If you love New York like I do, this painting is a nostalgic treat.
Your eye is drawn toward the silhouetted statue of George M. Cohan in the distance being admired by a lone figure. This statue still stands at the southern tip of Father Duffy Square overlooking Times Square. Today, the TKTS booth, already a NY landmark in its own right, would be to the statue's back and directly in our view. This wonderful monument by George John Lober was sited in 1959, and this painting shows it only ten years later.
Manel Anoro was born in Barcelona in 1945 to a seamstress and a salesman. He has an early memory of receiving a set of colored pencils which opened up new worlds for him. According to accounts, his talent was 'tolerated,' and only his mother encouraged him. However, he lived in pre-revolution Spain, and did what was expected of him, studying Agricultural Engineering, Economics, and finally becoming a systems engineer for IBM, but still painting all the while. And it's these early paintings, of which this is one, that are being discovered now that Manel Anoro is a well celebrated contemporary artist. After the fall of Franco in 1975, Anoro put in a few more years of work in the corporate world before deciding to follow his muse and become a full time painter. He has met with astonishing success, and is shown and collected around the world, his paintings and prints displaying the saturated colors of his native Spain with a bit of a Fauvist edge. Anoro traveled throughout his life, and although he says he now prefers to paint in "peaceful places" and alone, he always painted wherever he found himself. He is represented by prestigious galleries worldwide, and has an interesting Web site where you can find current and past exhibition links, a map of galleries where his current work can be found, a list of books written about him and his work, and an interesting blog - you can find his site by putting his name into any search engine.
CONDITION is good with a couple of small older wax repairs that you probably wouldn't notice if they weren't pointed out… you can see one in the photo of the signature in the light salmon field at the top just to the left of the black and red spot… the other, smaller, in the dark gray block of color at the top left. I only noticed these because you can see them on the back of the canvas. Signed and dated at the lower right. Measures 17 1/2" x 21 1/2" overall with a sight size of 15 1/2" x 19 1/2". The painting on its stretchers without the frame is 16" x 20".
This is a rare opportunity to own an early Manel Anoro. And for those of us who love New York City, the swirling lights of Times Square and The Great White Way have never shone more brightly. Enjoy!