Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. is pleased to present the first of two exhibitions celebrating the trajectory of Horacio Torres’ oeuvre (b. Italy, 1924 – d. New York, 1976).
The youngest son of seminal Uruguayan Constructivist, Joaquín Torres-García (b. 1874 – d. 1949), Horacio Torres was exposed to art at an early age. Having studied painting and drawing at home, Torres’ painted works emanated from a platform of Constructivism and Geometric Abstraction.
This first gallery exhibition entitled Horacio Torres: Early Works emphasizes the diversity of subject matters and techniques from Torres’ artistic upbringing, ranging from metaphysical landscapes and still lifes to geometrically abstract and constructivist grids.
In 1970, Horacio Torres settled in New York, and it was then that he made the aesthetic leap into the contemporary art world populated by Abstract Expressionist painters. Under the wing of the modernist art critic Clement Greenberg (whom Torres had met when Greenberg visited Montevideo in 1968), Torres chose to focus on figurative painting. His father’s teachings always emphasized the aim of achieving a plastic structure regardless of whether the painted work was figurative or not. This notion translated flawlessly into Horacio Torres’ nude figures, which will be on view in the gallery’s second exhibition, Horacio Torres: Nudes.
An illustrated catalogue with a lead essay by Karen Wilkin is in preparation for release in February, 2017.
Horacio Torres: Early Works will be on view September 20 to November 5, 2016.
Horacio Torres: Nudes will be on view February 16 to May 27, 2017.
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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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