Lyric and profound cubism. A thousand and one facets in the work of an artist whose creative horizons widen beyond just plastic arts. Beyond Cubism as well, although for Manuel Ángeles Ortiz this art form is a reference he constantly returns to.
He spent his youth in Granada, and Granada was also his most fertile muse. It was there that he struck up a close friendship with Federico García Lorca and Ismael González de la Serna, with whom he came to share so many experiences.
Like all the great artists of his time, Manuel Ángeles Ortiz felt the pressing need to experience personally the new currents that were stirring in Paris, the crucible of Vanguard movements. He settled there in 1922 and initiated a relationship with Pablo Picasso that would influence him all his life. Artistic figures as important as Juan Gris and Pettoruti also contributed to his integration in French life. Their imprint is obvious in his work, the fruit of intense activity, which also marks the style of Manuel de Falla and Daniel Vázquez Díaz. Ortiz’s set designs for musical pieces by Falla, Satie or Poulenc made him an essential point of reference for the Spanish colony in the French capital.
His participation in the activities of the Generation of 1927 was quite intense during the years leading up to the Spanish Civil War, particularly with Lorca’s theatrical group, La Barraca, where he soaked up surrealist sensitivity. Falla and Vázquez Díaz also influenced his abandonment of the post impressionist genre painting with color that he had practiced so successfully for years. His membership in the Alliance of Antifascist Intellectuals made exile inevitable when the war ended and distancing from investigation of the fields of classicistic cubism, geometric abstraction and surrealism.
His new home would be Argentina, and there his work took a new turn. Enormous landscapes, lakes and mountains filled his paintings and sculpture with no care about content, with materials found in nature. He was more preoccupied with surfaces and textures than about the subject of the work.
In 1948 he returned to Paris and his cubist roots. Then, during the 1950s, he went back to Granada, where the Albaicín and the Alhambra would be the protagonists of his work with surprising modernity and delicate lyricism. He remained there until 1956, when he set out on his definitive path to France, the country he would not leave again until his death in 1984.