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Joaquin Torres Garcia

Uruguyan Painter - Constructive Universalism movement theorist

Joaquin Torres Garcia

(1874 - Montevideo, Uruguay - 1949)

Composicion Constructiva, 1935

Pen ink over pencil lines on paper
Signed with the initials lower left JTG
Dated lower center 31
19 x 14.5 cm

Provenance   :
Cecilia de Torres Gallery, New York


Certificate of authenticity from Cecilia de Torres, the artist’s daughter-in-law, New York City on February 1, 2007


If Joaquín Torres-García had already encountered pre-Columbian art during his trip to New York in 1920, it was while visiting the exhibition The Ancient Arts of America at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris in 1928, that he then became aware of the possibility of a universal language with its schematic and stylized representations.
For Torres-García, this revelation marked the beginning of his synthetic period combining abstract and figurative elements in the same work in order to produce a universally understandable language.
This concept gave rise to what Torres-García would call "Universalismo Constructivo" (Universal Constructivism), which according to its definition is the search for "absolute unity". From 1930, he built his works according to the same scheme: an abstract structure (rectangles and squares), created by the crossing of verticals and horizontals whose gaps are designed according to the Golden Ratio; and in which are inscribed pictograms, basic stylistic figures, as well as words and numbers that the artist orders with an "unconscious" and intuitive freedom.
Our Constructivist Composition of 1935 is very representative of this new pictorial language invented by Torres-García. The work is structured according to the artist's own concept: compartmentalized spaces in which signs, words and numbers are inscribed. We can observe there, many symbols some of which are recurrent in his works such as the heart, the sun, the clock, the man… For Torres-García, all these elements are an ideal synthesis of the richness of human nature .
In their relationship, the symbols of Torres-García are part of a ternary symbolic conception:
- The domain of reason, ideas, the abstract (circle, square, alphabet, clock ...)
- The area of ​​emotion (heart, life, death ...)
- The field of equipment (jug, hammer, etc.).


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