Joaquín Torres-García - 1874-1949
"EVERYTHING IS WITHIN THE ABSTRACT MAN.
One must not want to achieve anything that is outside or above him.
Not try to be either beast or god: only man, in accord with total harmony.
Balance. ...He who does not return love with love, work with work, IS AN OUTLAW.
If we receive we must give back, on every level."
Torres-García, THE TRADITION OF ABSTRACT MAN, 1938
Johnson Review - Courtesy of The New York Times (2 July, 1999)Mario Naves Review - Courtesy of The New York Observer (26 July, 1999)
An important selection of paintings, wood sculpture and works on paper by the Constructivist master. This will be the first gallery exhibition in the United States of important Torres-García works since 1984. Rarely seen pieces from the 1920's through the 1940's, including the paintings: New York El, 1921; Constructivist Guitar, 1937; Structure in Color, 1942 and Port, Four Universalist Symbols, 1942.
b. 1874 Montevideo, Uruguay - d. 1949 Montevideo, Uruguay
When Torres-García arrived in Montevideo on April 30, 1934 after forty-three years of absence, Torres-García told the press that he had returned to his native country of Uruguay in order to "develop a wide range of activities, to lecture, to teach courses, to achieve... on walls what I have already achieved on canvas,... to create in Montevideo a movement that will surpass the art of Paris." These lofty ambitions were achieved through the creation of his world famous workshop, the Taller Torres-García, where he taught his theory of Universal Constructivism to future generations of Latin American artists.
Before returning to Uruguay, Torres-García had arrived at the concept of Universal Constructivism after a long development during which his painting evolved from Mediterranean classicism through periods of Vibrationism, Cubism, and Fauvism. A truly global artist, Torres-García lived in Spain, New York, Italy, and Paris, where his theories and aesthetic style culminated into his characteristic incorporation of symbols located in a geometric grid based on the golden section.
The uniqueness of Torres' proposal consisted of his incorporation of essential elements of indigenous American art into the basic principles of European constructivism and geometric abstraction. Today, he is recognized as a canonical figure in both Latin American and modern art in general, with works in prestigious public and private collections worldwide.
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