The McMaster Museum of Art

    MANRIQUE, Daniel
    Date: Mexican, 1939 - 2010
    In 2002 Daniel Manrique returned to McMaster to paint El Mundo (La Naturaleza) es Responsabilidad de los Humanos / The Natural World is the Responsibility of the Human Race, to replace his previous mural in the Togo Salmon cafeteria which was covered over during renovations. The 2002 mural presently hangs in the McMaster Student Centre.

    Artist statement on this work:

    The natural world is the responsibility of the human race
    The theme of this mural is a utopian proposal, if we accept that UTOPIA means “no place” or “what could be possible but is not,” or “what could in fact be done and is not”, love and respect for Nature like love and mutual respect among human beings.
    Meaning of the figures
    At either side the male figures stand protectively beside the women and children – a girl and a boy.
    In the centre is a huge face with four eyes and two more faces at either side that call to mind the gigantic heads of the Olmec civilization and the masks of the Mayas.
    Eyes and faces and the visual space caused by the separation of lines and forms point to the mysteries of Nature that still lie hidden to the human race.
    At the top is a woman holding the planet Earth protectively.
    The message of the proposal is that human beings – women and men – should protect responsibly, with love, tenderness and respect both the natural world, which is where we live, and children, who are the human race that should be headed towards a secure future, not an insecure future.
    But an insecure future is the reality we live with.
    This is not the way things should be, but it is the way things are.

    Meaning of the geometric composition as a whole

    The structure of the geometric composition as well as of the human figures can be seen at one and the same time to stand out and to become blurred. This shows that in immediate physical space as well as in infinite cosmic space, everything is simultaneous:
    MACROCOSM – MICROCOSM, everything is one with everything else.

    What human beings have done in the past, what they are doing in the present and
    what they may do in the future, whether it be good or bad,
    will affect all of us in our human dimension.

    daniel manrique
    Tepito Artes acà
    Sept – Oct 2002


    I remember my friends from Argentina and Chile - 1981


    The first mural he painted for McMaster depicted the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and represented the grief of the Buenes Aires women who lost loved ones during a brutal military regime.

    Artist statement on that work:

    Reconocimiento de las “Madres Argentinas de la Plaza de Mayo” al Pueblo Canadiense y a la Comunidad Latinoamericana por su continuo apoyo a la reafirmación de los derechos humanos en Americe Latina.
    Trabajo donado por el artista con la colaboración de la Asociación de Estudiantes, la Asociación de Antiguos Alumnos de la Universidad y la Comunidad toda de McMaster.
    Daniel Manrique
    Hamilton, Octubre de 1981

    En 1976 el gobierno democrático de Argentina fue derrocado por un golpe militar. A partir de esa fecha la represión sobre trabajadores, profesionales, estudiantes, miembros de la Iglesia, hombres, mujeres y niños se intensifica. Como una forma de protestar por lo anterior, un grupo de mujeres, “Las Madres de la Plaza de Mayo”, se reúnen cada jueves frente a la Casa de Gobierno y marchan en silencio denunciando así la situación de sus familiares desaparecidos a manos de grupos armados que se identifican como miembros de las fuerzas armadas y la policía.

    From the “Argentinian Mothers of May Square” in appreciation of the continuous support of the people of Canada and of the Latin American community for the re-affirmation of human rights in Latin America.
    Art work donated by the Artist with the support of the McMaster Students Union, the McMaster Alumni Association and the wider McMaster University Community.
    Daniel Manrique
    Hamilton, October 1981

    In 1976 the democratically elected government of Argentina was overthrown by a Military Junta. From then on the repression over works, professionals, students, church members, men, women and children has intensified. In protest, a group of women, “The mothers of May Square” gather every Thursday in front of the Government Palace and march in silence to denounce the disappearance of their children and other relatives at the hands of armed groups identified as members of the armed forces and police.

    This mural is composed of a number of panels depicting the development of friendship and care between Canadians and Latin Americans. The wall had been painted in panels of off-white and tan when Mr. Manrique first looked at it. His choice of colour was largely dictated by the colour of the walls and the decorations of the room which contained, in the rug and drapes, much black and red. Mr. Manrique was primarily concerned to integrate his painting into the cafeteria. Thereby he hoped not to provide an attractive decoration for the room but to speak to the large number of people who eat here each day.
    The heart of this mural shows Argentinian women, identified by their kerchieves, protesting the violence of Latin America and imploring Canadian women to help in their resistance to repression and hatred. The violence and hatred is dramatically represented by the figures of death and oppression on the left and right hands of the mural.