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Manuel Marin: A Balancing Act

Let me introduce Manuel Marin the bull fighting artist. Marin was born in Cieza, Spain in 1942 surrounded by the tradition of bull fighting. Marin became fascinated with the art of bull fighting and went on to fight some of the greatest bull fighters of the age including Chicuelo Segundo, Pedras Montero and Manuel Benitez better known as ‘El Cordobes’.


Andy Warhol (American 1928-1987) Mobil (Feldman & Schellmann II.350) Screenprint in colours, 1985, from Ads, signed in pencil, numbered AP 16/30 (aside from the edition of 190), on Lenox Museum Board, with the blindstamps of the printer, Rupert Jasen Smith, and the publisher, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, Inc., New York Sheet: 96.4 x 96.4cm (38 x 38in.) Unframed £15,000-20,000 + Fees (Lot 83, 26th April 2018)

In 1962, Marin left Spain and travelled to London where he found a job in an art gallery. It was here that the young Spaniard met the renowned sculptor Henry Moore who later employed Marin as his assistant. This exposure to modern British sculpture under the teaching of Moore is likely to have influenced Marin’s creativity and pushed his interest towards sculpting for himself.

After two years in London, Marin moved to New York where he secured a job as an art restorer in the Mallorca Brothers’ Gallery and later went on to open his own gallery called The American Indian Art Gallery. Some of his most notable clients included Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Jean Michel Basquiat, Robert Indiana and Haring Keltan, many of whom also became personal friends.

Bridget Riley (British b. 1931) Elapse (Schubert 30) Screenprint in colours, 1982, signed, dated and titled in pencil, from the edition of 260, with the printer’s blindstamp, Graham Henderson, London, on BFK Rives wove paper Image: 102 x 63.5cm (40 1/8 x 25in.) Sheet: 121 x 80.5cm (47 5/8 x 31 3/4in.) Unframed £2,000-3,000 + Fees (Lot 77, 26th April 2018)

By 1969, Marin turned to sculpture himself. He was fascinated by the work of Alexander Calder and the popular movement of Kinetic Art. Kinetic Art became popular in the 1950s and 60s and played with incorporating movement in art and using effects to create the concept of motion. Alexander Calder began creating mobiles in 1930 to push the conception of Kinetic Art experimenting with the movement of air in a space. Marin was inspired by this concept and experimented himself with Kinetic Art and its attributes. Victor Vaserely and Bridget Riley also experimented with Kinetic Art where they used repetition of shape and line to distort the viewer’s perception.

Manuel Marin (Spanish 1942-2007) Untitled. Painted metal ceiling mobile Incised with signature on one of the black elements 91.5 x 140cm (36 x 55 1/8in.) £3000-5000 + Fees (Lot 82, 26th April 2018)

A year later in 1970, Marin’s first exhibition was held at the Allan Brown Gallery in Scarsdale, New York. Recognisable by their bright colours and a-symmetric shapes, Marin’s distinctive mobiles have been exhibited all over the world. Included in Dreweatts Fine Painting sale on 26th April is one of these iconic mobiles.