Joaquín Torres-García

b. 1874 Montevideo, Uruguay - d. 1949 Montevideo, Uruguay

The Uruguayan painter, muralist, sculptor, teacher, writer, and theoretician, Joaquín Torres-García was born in Montevideo to a Catalan father and a Uruguayan mother. When he was seventeen years old, his family returned to the father’s homeland in Catalonia, Spain. Torres-García would not return to Montevideo for another forty-three years, living in Spain, France, the United States, and Italy.

In Barcelona, he studied at the Academy La Llotja and at the Cercle artistic de Saint Lluc. In 1903 he worked at Antoni Gaudí's studio. Commissioned to decorate a large hall for Barcelona's Palace de la Generalitat, he traveled to Italy in 1912 to study fresco. By 1916, he had completed four large fresco murals. He contributed essays to magazines and newspapers, and his first book, Notes on Art, was published in 1913. In 1917, Torres-García began to design manipulable, didactic wood toys for children, which he continued to do until the 1930s in Paris.

In 1920, Torres-García left Barcelona for good. He settled in New York, and after two years, he returned to Europe; first, he lived in Tuscany, and then in 1926 he moved to Paris. It was there that he met the French artist Jean Hèlion who introduced him to the artists of the avant-garde. He became friends with Jacques Lipchitz, Theo Van Doesburg, Alexander Calder, Piet Mondrian, Le Corbusier, Luis Fernandez, and Amédée Ozenfant. He also renewed his friendship with the sculptor Julio González. With Michel Seuphor, Torres-García founded the group and journal, Cercle et Carré (Circle and Square) in 1930. At the end of 1932, due to the economic effects of the stock market crash, he moved to Madrid.

After eighteen months in the Spanish capital he returned to Uruguay. In Montevideo, he first founded the “Asociación de Arte Constructivo” (AAC) (“The Association of Constructivist Art”) with a group of Uruguayan artists. In the first issue of Círculo y Cuadrado, a magazine inspired by Cercle et Carré which the group renewed, the seminal drawing of the Inverted Map of South America was published. Torres-García’s statement was: “Nuestro norte es el sur” (“Our North is the South"). In 1943, he founded the “Taller Torres-García” (TTG), where he imparted his teachings onto the next generation of artists. He died in Montevideo in August of 1949. In Torres-García's Constructive Universal compositions, he aimed to express a total world view, forging a unique style which united elements of European modernism with the ancient cultures, particularly with the Americas. It appeals equally to reason, to the senses, and to the spirit.

An online catalogue raisonné, which includes comprehensive information about Torres-García’s art, exhibition history, and literary references, as well as a chronology with documentary materials related to the artist’s life and career, is available online at

Please click for Chronology and CV

Sol y Luna del Arcano

Joaquín Torres-García
Sol y Luna del Arcano

Adolfo Maslach is an architect and art collector who has an extensive range of works by Torres-García and the artists associated with him, the School of the South. The book is based on the premise that the work of Torres-García is a profound assimilation of the world that surrounded him and Maslach writes of Torres-García, his theoretical ideas, the avant-garde movements in the social and political context of the times, and the architectural influences of Montevideo, Barcelona, New York, and Paris.

Adolfo M. Maslach; 844 pages; In Spanish; Special UNESCO edition, hardcover, hundreds of photographs and illustrations


$ 100.00 + postage

Cecilia de Torres, El Norte es el Sur, Revista Paula, Diario El Pais. Uruguay, 2021.

Bello, "A model Latin American", The Economist, Oct. 22, 2016

Stephen Westfall, "Between Worlds", Art in America, Feb. 1, 2016

"Joaquín Torres-García: A Global Modernist Before His Time" by John Yau for Hyperallergic, January 10, 2016.

"A MoMA Retrospective Reveals How Uruguayan-Born Joaquín Torres-García Turned the Western Art World on Its Head" by Christian Viveros-Faune for The Village Voice, January 4, 2016.

"An Avant-Gardist Who Bridged the Archaic and the New" by Holland Cotter, The New York Times, Oct. 29, 2015.

"Torres-García, el moderno primitivo" by Irene Crespo, Diario El Pais, Oct. 19, 2015.

Torres-Garcia is listed in New York, Diario El Pais, Spain, Oct. 21, 2015.

"Un recorrido que asombra y encanta" by Carmen Molina Tamacas, El Observador, Uruguay, Oct. 25, 2015.

"El gran retorno a Nueva York" by Laszlo Erdelyi, Diario El Pais, Uruguay, Oct. 2, 2015

"Torres-Garcia triunfa en el MoMA" by Alicia de Arteaga, Diario La Nacion, Argentina, Nov. 5, 2015.

"Los Precios de los cuadros de Torres-Garcia son aun bajos" by Laszlo Erdelyi, Diario El Pais, Uruguay, Oct. 2, 2015

‘Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern’ review by Karen Wilkin, Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2015.

Cecilia de Torres Essay: Constructing Abstraction with Wood - Courtesy of Literal Magazine (Issue 11, Fall 2009)

Johnson Review - Courtesy of The New York Times (2 July, 1999)

Mario Naves Review - Courtesy of The New York Observer (26 July, 1999)

Founding Inspiration Of Latin Modernism by Holland Cotter for The New York Times, Dec. 4, 1992

Taller Torres-García permanent exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Taller Torres-García permanent exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

We are pleased to share the following article written by Cecilia de Torres:

El Norte es el Sur, Revista Paula, Diario El País, Uruguay, 2021.

You can read or download the article here.


Gallery artists at MoMA Exhibition

Gallery artists at MoMA Exhibition

We are pleased to announce Joaquín Torres-García, María Freire and César Paternosto's participation in the following exhibition:

"Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift" at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York

On view through March 14, 2020

For more information, please click here.

Gallery artists at Fondation Cartier

Gallery artists at Fondation Cartier

We are pleased to announce Joaquín Torres-García, Gonzalo Fonseca and Cesar Paternosto's participation in the following exhibition:

Southern Geometries, from Mexico to Patagonia,Fondation Cartier, Paris, France

From October 14, 2018 to February 24, 2019

For more information, please click here.

Joaquín Torres-García Upcoming Exhibition at MoMA

Joaquín Torres-García Upcoming Exhibition at MoMA

We are pleased to announce Joaquín Torres-García upcoming exhibition:

Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern at MoMA, New York, on view until February 15, 2016

For more information about this exhibition, please click here.

For the New York Times review by Holland Cotter, please click here.

For the Wall Street Journal review by Karen Wilkin, please click here.

For El País newspaper review by László Erdélyi, please click here.

Cecilia de Torres's radio Interview with En Perspectiva

Cecilia de Torres's radio Interview with En Perspectiva

Cecilia de Torres was invited by Rosario Castellanos and Emiliano Cotelo to talk on En Perspectiva about the recent Joaquín Torres-García retrospective at MoMA and its historic significance.

En Perspectiva is a popular morning radio news program of cultural interest. It airs in Uruguay on Oriental Radio (AM770), Del Sol FM (99.5 Montevideo), and a chain of local stations.

For a full video, transcript and/or audio of this interview (in Spanish only), please click here.

For more information about the radio show go to: 

Joaquín Torres-García online catalogue raisonné

Joaquín Torres-García online catalogue raisonné

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Joaquín Torres-García online catalogue raisonné.
A panel discussion on the Uruguayan modernist artist and the compilation of the catalogue will be moderated by Edward J. SullivanHelen Gould Sheppard Professor in the History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, NYU.

Mari Carmen RamírezWortham Curator of Latin American ArtThe Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Director, International Center for the Arts of the Americas
Cecilia de Torres, Head of the catalogue raisonné project on the artist 
Susanna V. Temkin,  Research and Archive Specialist, Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. and IFA Ph.D. Candidate

We request that all current owners of works by  Joaquín Torres-García contact us at

To view a video of the event please click here.