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
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and CVGustavo Bonevardi
b. 1960 New York - 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 miniscule 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 in commemoration of 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, his latest body of work was shown in a solo exhibition, Fictions, at Cecilia de Torres, Ltd. His large-scale drawing, Falling (2007-2009), was recently included in the first group exhibition ever to be held at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, entitled Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11.
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and China Project Installation PhotosGego
Gego (Gertrud Louise Goldschmidt)
b. 1912, Hamburg, Germany - d. 1994, Caracas, Venezuela
Gego was a German-born Venezuelan artist and sculptor. She attended theTechnische Hochschule of Stuttgart,in 1932, where she studied under the popular masonry artist, Dr. Paul Bonatz. In 1938, she received a diploma in both Architecture and Engineering.
In 1935, once the Nazis seized Germany, Gego was forced into exile and moved to Venezuela at the age of seventeen. Through her partner, the artist Gerd Leufert, Gego was introduced to a number of artists practicing Kinetic Art, Constructivism, and Geometric Abstraction, as modernist art movements reached their peak in Venezuela.
It was not until the mid-1960s that Gego departed from her previous platform of Kinetic Art, and instead, informed her work by engaging with the line as a formal structure. For Gego, a line inhabits its own space, and as such, it is not merely a component of a larger work, instead, it is the work itself. Therefore, the artist did not use the line to represent an image, the line is the very image. The strength or purpose of the line was enhanced by her use of different materials, such as steel, wire, lead, nylon, and various metals.
Gego's idea of a series of artworks that would be titled "Drawings Without Paper" reflect her view of space. She considered space as its own form, as if her artwork was occupying the room itself. Since her pieces are made from nets and grid-like materials, negative space is everywhere, causing the negative as well as the positive space to be appreciated. But it is the shadows created by her works that reveal the integral connection between the sculpture and the room it occupies. Gego was thus allowed to play with the idea of the stable and unstable elements of art.
The artist’s work as been shown all around the world in countless group exhibitions and numerous solo exhibitions, and her work is found in important public collections such as MoMA; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museo Reina Sofia; the Tate Modern; and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Please click for CVGerd Leufert
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. 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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and CVLinda Kohen
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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and ChronologyGustavo Serra
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.
Please click for CVElias Crespin
b. 1965, Caracas, Venezuela – lives in Paris, France since 2008
The child of mathematicians, Elias Crespin grew up in Caracas, Venezuela. From an early age, Crespin frequently visited the studio of his grandmother, the artist Gego (Gertrud Goldschmidt) and her partner, the artist and designer Gerd Leufert, where the young Crespin was encouraged to experiment with different materials. At the same time, the artist’s technical inclinations led him to study Computer Science at Venezuela's Central University, where he delved into the fields of mathematics, graphics, and topographical formulas. After working for various software companies and then for his own consulting firm, Crespin decided to dedicate his skills to art making.
Bridging the gap between technology and art, Crespin creates wire grid structures, that are in keeping within the tradition of Venezuelan Constructivism and Kineticism of which he is a direct descendent. Controlled by moving threads triggered by a computer program designed by the artist himself, Crespin’s artworks appear to dance in air as they adopt and morph into new forms and patterns.
Crespin currently lives and works in Paris where he continues to develop and apply new technological methods towards his artistic production. His art is included in such collections as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, Argentina; and El Museo del Barrio, New York; as well as numerous other prestigious private collections.
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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