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Joaquin Torres Garcia

Uruguyan Painter - Constructive Universalism movement theorist

  • Deux personnages

Joaquin Torres Garcia

(1874 - Montevideo, Uruguay - 1949)

Deux personnages, 1931

Pen ink on paper
Signed with initials lower left J.T.G
Dated lower right 31
19.5 x 12 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


Two Figures was produced in Paris in 1931. This Parisian period of the early thirties is essential in the art of Torres-García. In 1929, together with the art critic and poet Michel Seuphor (1901-1999), he founded the association of constructivist artists Cercle et Carré. In April 1930, the Cercle et Carré exhibition was organized, followed by the publication of the magazine of the same name. Cercle Carré brought together around Torres-García: Kandinsky (1866-1944), Mondrian (1872-1944), Léger (1881-1955), Le Corbusier (1887-1965) ...
During this period, Torres-García developed his famous pictorial language: Universalismo Constructivo. His work then progressed towards a more schematic form of abstraction, marked by the inclusion of objects and images from collective memory. The artist’s goal was to achieve universal art immediately perceptible to the senses.

In our drawing, the two figures side by side each have a particular meaning. According to the repertoire of symbols created by Torres-García, the dominant character represents the UNIVERSAL MAN and the character with the hat, the INDIVIDUAL MAN.
Each figure is treated schematically, reduced to its most basic structure, immediately identifiable, with the addition of symbolic signs. Torres-García invents a kind of graphic alphabet whose vocation is essentially intellectual and aims, in his own words: "to discover and communicate human and cosmic truth".




The pictogram of the human body is recurrent in Torres-García's work.
In 1938, in his work entitled La tradicion del hombre abstracto DOCTRINA CONSTRUCTIVA, Torres-García deepened this theme of "Universal Man" who has enough "cosmic (spiritual) force" to transform the world (Cosmos) in order to face torments and internal conflicts plagued by Individual Man, within society.

La tradicion del hombre abstracto (DOCTRINA CONSTRUCTIVA), 1938
Montevideo, Asociacion de Arte Constructivo
Book printed in few copies
Fully calligraphed text illustrated with artist ideograms

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