b. 1922 Montevideo, Uruguay - d. 1997 Seravezza, Italy
In 1942, Fonseca quit his architectural studies in order to pursue an artistic career. Working under the direction of Joaquín Torres-García, Fonseca joined the artist's workshop, where he participated in the group's collective exhibitions. In 1945 Fonseca traveled with other Taller Torres-García members through Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia to study pre-Columbian art. This experience, along with numerous trips throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa during the 1950s, profoundly affected Fonseca's formal and theoretical approach to art.
Although Fonseca left the College of Architecture in Montevideo as a youth, an emphasis on structure and architectonics is present throughout his oeuvre. As a teenager, he taught himself to sculpt in stone and later returned to such sculptural practices after studying ceramics in Spain in 1953. Fonseca moved to the United States in 1958, and later divided his time between New York and Italy, where he created large-scale marble sculptures.
Artworks by Fonseca are included at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museo Municipale, Pietrasanta, Italy; and the Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, among other collections. The artist's works are also featured in numerous public spaces around the globe, including Tokyo; Palo Alto, California; New York; Reston, Virginia; and Montevideo.
Please click for CVJosé Gurvich
b. 1927, Lithuania – d. 1974 New York City
Populated with figures and images that reflect his Jewish upbringing, his participation with the Taller Torres-García, and his profound admiration for the European art masters Breughel and Bosch, Gurvich's artworks combine a unique personal style with technical mastery.
The child of Jewish immigrants, the artist was born in Lithuania and moved to Uruguay with his family in 1932. There, Gurvich excelled at both music and the visual arts, and it was while studying the violin alongside Horacio Torres that the young artist was introduced to Horacio's father, Joaquín Torres-García. Soon after, Gurvich joined the Taller Torres-García, participating in the workshop's exhibitions, writing for its publications, executing mural projects, and teaching. Gurvich's role at the Taller later influenced the creation of his own workshop, the Taller Montevideo, where he taught the next generation of Uruguayan artists.
In 1954 and again in 1964, the artist travelled to Europe and Israel, where he lived as a shepherd on the Ramot Menasche kibbutz. These experiences profoundly influenced the iconography of his paintings and sculptures. Moving to the United States in 1970, Gurvich joined his fellow Taller Torres-García artists Julio Alpuy, Horacio Torres, and Gonzalo Fonseca in New York City, where he continued to produce art until his premature death in 1974.
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and CVFrancisco Matto
b. 1911, Montevideo, Uruguay - d. 1995, Montevideo, Uruguay
A founding member of the Taller Torres-García, Matto studied painting as a child before meeting Joaquín Torres-García, the atelier's founder in 1939. Following this encounter and encouraged by the creative environment at the Taller, Matto's artistic production shifted from his early Surrealist-influenced work to paintings and sculptures with markedly orthogonal compositions; these works were often executed on humble material supports such as cardboard and found wood pieces.
At the age of 21, Matto traveled to Tierra del Fuego and acquired the first Pre-Columbian pieces of what was to become a major collection and an important influence on his art. In 1962, Matto opened his collection of Amerindian art to the public. The Museum of Pre-Columbian Art housed ceramics, textiles and sculpture from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.
The Central Bank of Uruguay commissioned Matto to design a silver coin for the F.A.O. (United Nations Organization for Agriculture and Food). It was in circulation in 1969 and won the first prize from the Gesellschaft für Internationale Geldgeschichte, an international numismatic association based in Frankfurt, Germany.
In 1982, Matto was invited to participate in the First International Meeting for Open Air Sculpture in Punta del Este, Uruguay. He made a U shaped form sculpture in cement placed next to the beach.
His recent exhibitions include "Francisco Matto: Exposição Monográfica," 6a Bienal do Mercosur, Porto Alegre, Brazil, 2007; "Francisco Matto: The Modern and Mythic," The Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, 2009; “Constructed Dialogues: Concrete, Geometric, and Kinetic Art from the Latin American Art Collection," The Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas, 2012-2013. His work has also been included in group exhibitions in Paris, Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Moscow, Tokyo, New York, and throughout Latin America.
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and CVAntonio Llorens
b. 1920, Montevideo, Uruguay - d. 1995 Montevideo, Uruguay
Antonio Llorens was a student at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Montevideo and became a member of the MADÍ group during the 1940s. Also a founder of the Uruguayan Group of Abstract Art, his work was in numerous exhibitions of the MADÍ group including the important 1958 Parisian MADÍ International, Groupe Argentine at the Galerie Denis René; the 1961 15 Years of MADÍ Art, Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires; Vanguardias de la década de los 40, Arte MADÍ Perceptismo, Museo Sivori, Buenos Aires in 1980; the 2001 Abstract Art From the Rio de la Plata, 1930s to 1950, Americas Society, New York and Tamayo Museum, Mexico City.
Llorens was an influential proponent of geometric and abstract art in Uruguay. He was commissioned to paint public and private murals, taught from 1962 to 1972 at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in Montevideo, and in 1987 was awarded the National Prize Pintura INCA in Montevideo. Llorens work is in the prestigious Blaquier Collection, the Museum of Modern Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Buenos Aires, the Cisneros Collection in Caracas, Venezuela, and the CIFO collection in Miami, among others.
Please click for CVHéctor Ragni
b. 1897 Buenos Aires, Argentina - d. 1952, Montevideo, Uruguay
Ragni´s family moved to Montevideo in 1915 where Héctor continued his art studies and activities. In 1918, Ragni sailed for Europe, living in Barcelona and returning to Uruguay after ten years abroad. In 1934, Ragni met Torres-García and joined the Asociación de Arte Constructivo. Active in the artistic and cultural movements of the time and a participant in the numerous exhibitions of the AAC and later the Taller Torres-García, Ragni had a strong graphic sense coupled with superb technical mastery. His line drawings are highly coveted as there are few canvases extant.
Please click for CVAugusto Torres
b. 1913 Tarrasa, Spain - d. 1992 Barcelona, Spain
The eldest son of Joaquín Torres-García, Augusto was an active participant in his father's artistic life. Growing up primarily in Italy and France, the young artist met many of the great figures of twentieth century art, including Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Joan Miró. During the 1930s, while living in Paris with his family, Augusto was the apprentice of the sculptor Julio González and studied drawing in Amedée Ozenfant’s academy. Introduced to North African and American Indian art by the painter Jean Hélion, it was also in Paris that the artist developed his lifelong passion for tribal and primitive art.
After Torres-García brought his family to Uruguay in 1934, Augusto participated in all the activities of his father’s teaching atelier, the Taller Torres-García. One of the Taller's most well known students, Augusto later went on become a teacher himself, instructing subsequent generations of artists. Throughout his life, Augusto traveled widely, including two years living in New York. From 1973 on, he divided his time between Barcelona and Montevideo.
The art of Augusto has been displayed internationally in both solo and group exhibitions, and his work is included in the collections of such institutions as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Santa Barbara Museum of Art; the Miró Foundation, Barcelona; and the Museo Torres-García, Montevideo.
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and CVHoracio Torres
b. 1924 Livorno, Italy - d. 1976 New York City
Of the many painters who studied with his father, the great Constructivist artist Joaquín Torres-García, Horacio Torres made the quantum leap into the Contemporary art world of abstract and expressionistic painters in New York's 1970s. That he did so with figurative canvases was a singular achievement. Taken under the wing of the critic Clement Greenberg, who understood that Horacio's work was really about painting and was thoroughly modern, Horacio explored the thunderous territory of Titian, Velasquez and late Goya with a unique background of skill and aesthetic education in a contemporary way. Thus the series of headless nudes and of figures with faces obscured, make clear his painterly intentions and concerns. His monumental canvases are wondrous exercises of painted imagination formed with the structure of the depicted figure, but they are not about nudes, they are about painting.
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and CVCésar Paternosto
b. 1931 La Plata, Argentina – lives in Segovia, Spain
After beginning his career working in an informalist mode, followed by a brief period of lyrical figuration, Paternosto first created artworks based on Geometric Abstraction in the early 1960s. By the end of this decade, his formal and theoretical explorations led the artist to push beyond the very boundaries of the medium of painting. Leaving the surface of the canvas blank, Paternosto shifted the emphasis of his artworks to their outer edges, converting his paintings into objects, and rebelling against the inherited tradition of only viewing paintings frontally. Since this breakthrough, he has remained on the vanguard of abstraction in both New York, where he lived for over four decades, and Latin America.
In addition to his career as a painter, Paternosto has studied Pre-Columbian art with academic rigor. This expertise has
not only influenced his artistic practices, but has also led him to assume scholarly and curatorial roles, including the international exhibition, Abstraction: The Amerindian Paradigm. In 2005, the artist moved to Segovia, Spain, where, just a year prior, a major retrospective of his work had been on view at the Esteban Vicente Museum of Contemporary Art. Paintings by Paternosto are found in various prestigious collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland; and the Städtisches Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany, amongst others.
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