The exhibition, which will be open from October 15 to December 15, 2015 reviews the buildings designed by the Spanish architect in the Canary Islands, an earthly paradise of sorts from which Higueras took full advantage creating a new allegorical, exotic lansdcape filled with massive concrete structures.
“Fernando Higueras. Canarias y Las Salinas”
October 6 to January 10 2016
Plaza de Cibeles, 1. 28014
Higueras, who passed away in 2008, left many memorable tracks in Madrid, some as extraordinary as the “Crown of Thorns” building or the housing complex in San Bernardo Street, as well as numerous houses and other interesting cases. All these works would deserve specific revisions, but due to their proximity, the exhibition in CentroCentro Cibeles is dedicated present another facet of his work, distant and exotic – the projects and works he developed in the Canary Islands throughout his career. A set of works, many of them little known or presented here for the first time, whose display complements the more confined urban vision and projects of Madrid and reveals a parallel experimental laboratory.
This “exotic laboratory” begins with the initial contact between Higueras and César Manrique in 1960, and blooms in a lavish series of proposals that shaped a complete program for the redescription of the Canary Island’s -and especially Lanzarote’s- architecture, landscape, image, character and potential modes of employment, ranging from playful and fun to cultural architecture, concentrating on both tourists and natives. A program of an enlightened ambition which glimpsed a prosaic, real Eden; a pragmatic utopian future of the islands that very few could see forty years ago and which Higueras bound with reason, ideas, metaphors and especially with a handful of exemplary interventions whose validity can still be proved by any visitor who comes to La Mareta, Las Salinas, the Spínola Palace and Lake Martiánez. It was the archetype of an allegorical time which not only shaped these important interventions, but became, in the hands of others, a privileged material from which to understand the Islands and their possibilities.
Of these projects, perhaps the Hotel Las Salinas (now Melia Salinas Lanzarote) summarizes the most potent form of the program-landscape approaches in the Canary Islands, to which the core of this exhibition on Fernando Higueras is dedicated.
It is important to highlight the valuable and indispensable collaboration of Lola Botia and the Fernando Higueras Foundation throughout the process of the exhibition’s and its catalog’s preparation. It is surely to Lola’s enthusiasm and generosity thanks to which this current interest in the work of Higueras exists, and is bound to continue into the future.