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.
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
Please click for Chronology
Bello, "A model Latin American", The Economist, Oct. 22, 2016Stephen 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.‘Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern’ review by Karen Wilkin, Wall Street Journal, November 18, 2015."Los Precios de los cuadros de Torres-Garcia son aun bajos" 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."El gran retorno a Nueva York" by Laszlo Erdelyi, Diario El Pais, Uruguay, Oct. 2, 2015"Un recorrido que asombra y encanta" by Carmen Molina Tamacas, El Observador, Uruguay, Oct. 25, 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.
The South was Their North: Artists of the Torres-García Workshop is an exhibition of paintings, sculpture, wood assemblages, furniture and ceramics by Julio Alpuy, Gonzalo Fonseca, José Gurvich, Francisco Matto, Manuel Pailós, Augusto Torres, Horacio Torres and their teacher Joaquín Torres-García, on view from September 2015 through February 2016.
For a full press release please click here.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
Related to the upcoming retrospective exhibition, Joaquin Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern at the Museum of Modern Art, Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. presents an aspect of the artist's endeavors that is inextricably associated with his personality and his career: the creation of a school of art that would realize “Constructive Universalism,” his theory of a unified aesthetic based on the visual canon he developed.
Torres-García’s ambition was to establish an autonomous artistic tradition based on Constructive Universalism that would eventually expand to all the Americas. This utopian undertaking occupied the last fifteen years of his life as an artist and teacher to new generations, leaving a considerable body of work and an indelible mark on South America’s modern art. The works in this exhibition date from 1936 to the 1980s. Our intent is to present work by this group of exceptional artists that is emblematic of their individuality, works of mature achievement as well as of their constructivist origins.
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 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: www.enperspectiva.net
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. Sullivan, Helen Gould Sheppard Professor in the History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts and College of Arts and Sciences, NYU.
Mari Carmen Ramírez, Wortham Curator of Latin American Art; The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
To view a video of the event please click here.