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 www.torresgarcia.com.
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b. 1960, New York City – lives in New York City
Trained as an architect with a degree from Princeton University, Gustavo Bonevardi’s artistic practice ranges from the meticulous to the monumental. Working on a small scale, Bonevardi is known for his “letter drawings:” graphite images in which a multitude of minute, yet precise letters of the alphabet tumble, spill, and stretch their way across the paper’s surface, creating undulating patterns or precise forms which, when viewed from a distance, conceal their components.
Bonevardi draws on his architectural background when working on his large-scale urban projects. These include the memorial, Tribute in Light (conceived in 2001 and illuminated each year in New York City commemorating September 11th), and 10,000 Flower Maze (2011). This later work, a temporary project commissioned for Shenzhen's Citizen Plaza in China, was inspired by the European maze garden commissioned by Emperor Qialong in 1756. The work consisted of thousands of orange traffic safety cones arranged in patterns across the public space.
In 2015, the artist's recent body of work was shown in a solo exhibition, Fictions, at Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. His large-scale drawing, Falling (2007-2009), was included in the first group exhibition ever to be held at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11.
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and China Project Installation Photos
b. 1948, Montevideo, Uruguay - d. 2014, Greenport, New York
A unique talent in the world of ceramics, Buzio learned to create, form, and shape clay sculptures from the master ceramicist José Collell, based on ancient Amerindian practices. Buzio continued to work within this same method, cutting earthenware slabs into geometric shapes, and then combining these cylinders, cones, and hemispheres to form the body of her sculptures. Using special pigments which she mixed herself, the artist drew and painted directly onto her unfired works. Before firing, Buzio burnished her pieces; this step serves to fuse the paint into the clay and results in the unique luminosity and distinctive hues that characterize her artworks.
After moving to New York in the early 70s', Buzio's pictorial vocabulary shifted to reflect her new urban surroundings, inspiring her to create her New York Cityscapes, with their evocative rooflines, cast iron architecture, and water towers. Her last series of abstract geometric designs executed in bright primary colors, represented a new direction in her practice.
Buzio's ceramics are found in the Brooklyn Museum New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, Washington, D.C; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; the Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York; the Racine Art Museum, Wisconsin; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas; the Honolulu Academy of Art, Hawaii; the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the National Museum of History and the Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. Buzio’s work is also included in several other international museums and private collections.
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b. 1965, Caracas, Venezuela – lives in Paris, France since 2008
The child of mathematicians, Elias Crespin frequently visited the studio of his grandmother, the artist Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt), and her partner, the artist and designer Gerd Leufert. During this time, the young Crespin was encouraged to experiment with different materials. His technical inclinations led him to study Computer Science at Venezuela's Universidad Central in Caracas, where he delved into the fields of mathematics and topographical formulas. After working for various software companies, he decided to dedicate his skills to art making.
Crespin constantly applies new technological methods towards his artistic production, bridging the gap between technology and art. His installations consist of arrangements of hand-made elements in various geometric forms, which are suspended in midair by nearly invisible nylon threads. Through computer programs of custom software-controlled motors designed by the artist himself, his pieces constantly shift and mutate, producing highly nuanced choreographic effects, which make them appear to dance in the air as they adopt and morph into new forms and patterns. Crespin’s work questions the concepts of form, space, movement, and time, and is often associated with the study of color, light, shadow, and the experimentation of different materials and textures.
Since 2004, the artist’s pieces have been exhibited in many international institutions and venues such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH); Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris; Grand Palais, Paris; Galerie Denise René, Paris; Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris; Boghossian Foundation, Brussels; Das Kleine Museum, Weissenstadt, Germany; Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich; Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas; and Fundación Sala Mendoza, Caracas, amongst others.
Crespin's artworks are included in the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH); Ella Fontanals-Cisneros Collection (CIFO), Miami; El Museo del Barrio, New York; Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA); Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Das Kleine Museum, Weissenstadt, Germany, as well as numerous other prestigious private collections.
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b. 1924 in Milan, Italy – Lives in Montevideo, Uruguay
Fleeing from anti-Semitism on the eve of World War II, Linda Kohen immigrated with her family to Montevideo by way of Buenos Aires in 1939. Since then, the Italian-born artist has lived and worked in the Río de la Plata region, with an interlude in Brazil (1979-1985). From 1949 until the studio's demise in 1962, Kohen was a member of the Taller Torres-García, where she studied, created, and exhibited her art. After her work at the Taller, she arrived at her own uniquely personal style, creating intimate paintings that offer a glimpse into her private moments, feelings, and experiences. Kohen continues to develop her artistic practice from her home and studio in Montevideo.
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b. 1914 Klaipėda, Lithuania - d. 1998 Caracas, Venezuela
Gerd Leufert studied at the Hanover School of Art, where Klee and Kandinsky had been notable earlier graduates. He also studied graphic design at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich. After being conscripted and wounded during WWII, Leufert worked as a graphic designer for various German publishing houses.
Attracted by the economic affluence that the oil boom brought to Venezuela, in 1951, Leufert settled in Caracas, becoming a citizen in 1954. He moved to Tarma, a small town on the Venezuelan coast with the artist Gego, who became his lifelong companion. Their artistic collaborations included large scale public space projects integrating sculpture into architectural settings.
Leufert innovated graphic design in Venezuela, turning it into a dynamic medium using new typography and innovative layout design. From 1958 to 1967 he taught art and graphic design at various art schools in Caracas, and from 1968 to 1973 he served as curator of drawings and graphic design at the Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas.
In 1989, Leufert was awarded the Venezuelan National Fine Arts Prize. Works by Leufert are included in such public and private collections as the Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Collection among others.
b. 1913 Tarrasa, Spain - d. 1992 Barcelona, Spain
The eldest son of Joaquín Torres-García was born in Terrassa in the province of Barcelona. While living in Paris in the 1920s, Augusto met many of the great figures of twentieth century art, including Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, and Joan Miró. During the 1930s, he worked as an assistant and apprentice to the sculptor Julio González and studied drawing in Amedée Ozenfant’s Academy. It was also in Paris that Augusto developed his lifelong passion for tribal and primitive art. The artist was introduced to American Indian art by the painter Jean Hélion, a friend of his father’s. He later formed a great collection of American Indian art.
After Torres-García brought his family to Uruguay in 1934, Augusto participated in the Taller Torres-García. He later went on become a teacher himself. In 1945 he began his long collaboration with the Spanish architect Antonio Bonet. In 1960, he was awarded a grant by the New School in New York where he lived for two years. During this time, Augusto traveled to Montana to visit Blackfoot Indian reservations. From 1973 on, he divided his time between Barcelona and Montevideo.
Augusto Torres’ art is included in the collections of the Museo Artes Visuales, Montevideo; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Santa Bárbara Museum of Art; the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Miró Foundation, Barcelona.
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b. 1924 Livorno, Italy - d. 1976 New York City
Horacio Torres was born in 1924 when his father, the painter Joaquín Torres-García was living in Livorno, Italy. The family moved to Paris in 1926 where Horacio grew up, and was introduced to Alexander Calder's Circus. In 1934 the family left Europe to settle in Montevideo. Horacio was a member of the Association of Constructivist Art and The Taller Torres-García. In 1942 he traveled to Perú and Bolivia with his brother Augusto to study pre-Columbian Art. He painted two large constructivist murals in the walls of a hospital in Montevideo, a collective project launched by his father with the Taller Torres-García artists. In 1947, Horacio won a competition to paint a large mural for the offices of A.N.C.A.P. the state owned "National Administration of Fuels, Alcohols and Portland." After his father's death in 1949, he traveled to Europe, lived at the Maison du Mexique in the Cité Universitaire, and travelled throughout Europe visiting the great museums. Having returned to Uruguay, Horacio began collaborating with the architects Antonio Bonet, in Buenos Aires, and in Montevideo, with Mario Paysee Reyes, who commissioned large wall reliefs in cut brick for the church of the Archdiocese Seminary.
In 1969 he settled in New York where he began painting large representational canvases of nude figures. Curator Kenneth Moffet wrote “that this change to the figurative involved perceiving that his veneration for tradition and his desire to be modern were problematic and related impulses. His modernity had to be won, his traditionalism justified, and the friction that their conjunction generated proved fruitful." The figurative canvases were first shown at the Noah Goldowsky Gallery in 1972, and two years later, in an individual exhibition at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Horacio died in New York in 1976.
His work is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Brandeis University Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts; Hastings College, Nebraska; Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence; Musée d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Edmonton Museum, Alberta, Canada; the Biblioteca Nacional, Montevideo; and the Museo Blanes, Montevideo, Uruguay.
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b. 1966 Montevideo, Uruguay – lives in Montevideo, Uruguay
At 18, Gustavo began to study with the painter Daymán Antúnez with whom he continued to work until 1987. Beginning with Antúnez, Serra was to work with the most important surviving artists that had studied with the great modernist painter, Joaquín Torres-García. In 1987, he met the painter Augusto Torres (Torres-García's eldest son) and for the next six years, Serra painted with Torres in his studio until Augusto's death in 1992. In 1988, Serra became the studio assistant to Francisco Matto, working closely with him until Matto's death in 1995. He also assisted the sculptor Gonzalo Fonseca in his studios both in New York and in Seravezza, Italy in 1994 and 1996. Serra has also studied and collaborated with Julio Alpuy in New York and in Montevideo since 1991. All of these artists were original members of the renowned Taller Torres-García in Montevideo.
Since 1987, Serra has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Uruguay and abroad, including the 1996 Still Life Show at Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. in New York and the 1998, Salón Municipal, Montevideo. In 1997, Serra had his first one-man show at Galería Moretti in Montevideo.
Serra was invited in 1999, by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Montevideo, (Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Montevideo) to participate in the exhibition, Identities, Latin American and Caribbean artists, organized for the International Development Bank in Paris.
Since 1990, he has worked organizing exhibitions related to Joaquín Torres-García and the Taller in various museums, galleries and public institutions all around the world. He has also curated exhibitions for the Museo Torres-García and Galería Oscar Prato in Montevideo, and since 2012 is in the board of the Francisco Matto and Julio Alpuy Foundations.
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