By Ford Fine Art
Oracle sur Managua: Hommage to Ernesto Cardenal
Armando Morales (1927-2011)
Oil on canvas, 1989, 64″ x 79″
The art world was surprised in 1957 when a young Nicaraguan, with a few original and suggestive abstract paintings imbued with mysterious and mythical context, received immediate international recognition. Using jungles, moons, phantasmagorical trees, reflective lakes, metallic surfaces, and groups of nudes, Armando Morales created the motifs that would linger throughout his long career.
Oracle sur Managua: Hommage to Ernesto Cardenal, painted in 1989, is a figurative work filled with nudes, bicycles, coaches, train tracks, horses, dogs, tires, mirrors, and more. The title refers to the town where Morales was schooled, Managua, and honors the Nicaraguan poet, revolutionary, and Minister of Culture, Ernesto Cardenal. The illusionist space and lighting set the stage for the magical realism and surreal mannequin-like figures. This painting was valued at $450,000 in 1999.
We like the subdued colors and subject matter of this painting. The images are abstracted representations of natural things rather than pure abstractions. While visiting a gallery in Managua, we were fascinated by the use of funnels and finishes in many of Morales’s paintings. We learned that he worked in his father’s hardware store and constantly drew the tools and reflective surfaces that surrounded him.