The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Friday, October 24, 2014


First Major U.S. Exhibition in Nearly 40 Years to Focus Exclusively on Joaquín Torres-García
Joaquín Torres-García, Estructura con varilla blanca y círculo rojo (Structure with Superimposed) White Strip and Red Circle), 1935. Oil and nails on wood. Dimensions cm 39.5 x 9.8 x 6.5 cm. MACBA Collection. Fundació Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona.
HOUSTON, TX.- Joaquín Torres-García (1874-1949) is revered today as one of the most influential artists and theorists of the early twentieth century to have emerged from Latin America. A charismatic figure in the international art world, he exhibited with the most famous artists of his time, including Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Jacques Lipchitz, and Marcel Duchamp. Organized by The Menil Collection in association with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Joaquín Torres-García: Constructing Abstraction with Wood will offer to North American audiences for the first time an exploration of the artist’s wooden constructions known as maderas.

Curated by Mari Carmen Ramírez, the Wortham Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, in collaboration with Josef Helfenstein, Director of The Menil Collection, the exhibition will include more than 80 works. Most of these date from the 1920s to the 1940s, when Torres-García lived in Italy, France, Spain, and Uruguay, creating toys and developing the vocabulary for his wooden constructions. These three-dimensional works will be accompanied by a small selection of Torres-García’s oil paintings and a few drawings, demonstrating the connections between his experiments in two- and three-dimensional forms.

“We are very proud to present this exhibition,” said Menil Director Josef Helfenstein. “Though Torres-García is not as widely known as some of his European peers, he was a crucial figure in the development of an international avant-garde. For many, this exhibition will be a revelation.” As Mari Carmen Ramírez writes in the exhibition catalogue, the art of Torres- García “still carries an aura of mystery – if not downright eccentricity – in the United States. Largely circumscribed to a devoted circle of initiated art historians and dealers, and a handful of daring collectors and institutions, his work – despite its noteworthiness – does not yet command in this country the level of either criticism or museological attention accorded to other modern art masters of his generation.”

Recognized as a modernist painter, teacher, and author, Torres-García also broke new ground in the realm of wooden constructions or maderas. These deceptively simple arrangements of three-dimensional grids and planes made of painted and natural wood are unconventional with regard to prevailing avant-garde trends that dominated the international arts scene in the 1920s and 1930s. The maderas functioned for the artist as a kind of research laboratory through which he synthesized a number of ideas encompassing geometric and constructive trends, leading to the development of his own idiosyncratic form of abstraction. The maderas include small-scale boxes, abstract male and female figures, masks, boxed reliefs, incised and painted wood panels, constructions with painted or superimposed grids, self-standing structures, and assemblages. Their prevalence in Torres-García’s work attests to the artist’s lifelong penchant for the aesthetic qualities of wood and brings attention to a host of formal and conceptual issues critical to the overall development of abstraction in Europe and Latin America. By isolating the maderas, the exhibition reveals the scope of this aspect of Torres-García’s work and also provides valuable insights into his oeuvre.

Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, one of the most intellectual and cultivated cities of the Americas, Torres-García found his artistic voice while studying at Barcelona’s Academia Baixas and Cercle Artístic de Sant Lluc from 1893-1898. He delved into Catalan Modernism and collaborated with Antoni Gaudí in the workshops of the Sagrada Familia (1904-1905).

In 1920 the artist moved to New York with plans to manufacture the wooden toys he had designed, and the following year exhibited at the Whitney Studio Club. He returned to Europe in 1922, settling first in Italy, which he hoped would be a better place to develop the toys, then, four years later, in Paris. He participated in the 1928 exhibition, Cinq refusés par le jury du salón d’Automne ("Five refused by the jury of the Autumn Salon"), which placed him in the company of prominent constructivist painters. Together with the writer and critic Michel Seuphor, he founded the short-lived but influential group, Cercle et Carré (“Circle and Square”), which included such prominent artists as Mondrian, Jean Arp, Georges Vantongerloo, and Kurt Schwitters. While in Paris, he also became interested in the African and pre-Colombian objects on display at the Musée du Trocadero (the artist’s son, Augusto, worked at the museum, making drawings of Nazca pottery for inventory files). In 1934 Torres-García resettled in Montevideo, where he founded the Sociedad de las Artes del Uruguay and the Asociación de Arte Constructivo. Almost a decade later the artist established the Taller Torres-García, a workshop school that promoted avant-garde experimentation, influencing an entire generation of South American artists.

Menil Collection | Joaquín Torres-García | Montevideo | Uruguay | Mondrian | Jean Arp | Georges Vantongerloo | Kurt Schwitters. |




Today's News

June 25, 2009

Homme a l'epee Sells for 7 Million and Leads Sotheby's Sale of Impressionist & Modern Art

Retrospective of Pioneering Artist Dan Graham Opens at Whitney Museum

Hospital Radiologists Analyze Brooklyn Museum's Mummies and Make Discovery

Seattle Art Museum Presents an Intimate Tribute to the Late Andrew Wyeth

First Major U.S. Exhibition in Nearly 40 Years to Focus Exclusively on Joaquín Torres-García

Two Northwest Arkansas Museums Receive IMLS Grant

Alte Pinakothek Hosts Exhibition by Viennese Architects Christian Jabornegg and András Pálffy

Mexico's INAH Publishes Bio Cultural Heritage in Indigenous Hands Book by Eckart Boege

Chip Kidd to Design Poster for Inaugural Boston Book Festival

Gerard Hemsworth's Hidden Agenda on View at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art

New Photography Exhibition by Lucinda Chua on View at Bermondsey Square

Exhibition Examines the Intriguing but Relatively Unappreciated Aspect of Medal Work

Viewpoint of the Defeated Turns 50 Years Old

Royal Institute of British Architects Present Robin Hood Gardens Exhibition

National Museum of African Art "Artful Animals" Exhibition Includes Activities for People Who Are Blind

Discount Package Makes Brandywine Valley this Summers Hot Spot

Terra Foundation for American Art Teaching Fellowships and Visiting Professorships Recipients

Minervamation Animation Camp July 13 through 17 at the Clark

Museum Shortlisted for The National Lottery Awards

CalArts' Redcat and the Getty Co-Present the West Coast Premieres of Yvonne Rainer's Ros Indexical and Spiraling Down

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Image of a Christ without a beard, short hair and wearing a toga unearthed in Spain

2.- Giant mosaic unearthed in mysterious tomb in Amphipolis in northern Macedonia

3.- Bonhams sale of 18th century French decorative arts to benefit Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

4.- Paris flustered by erection of 'sex-toy' sculpture; Paul McCarthy slapped by a passer-by

5.- High art or vile pornography? Marquis de Sade explored in Orsay museum exhibition

6.- 'Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection' opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

7.- Greek culture minister says Elgin Marbles return a matter of 'global heritage'

8.- Vandals deflate Paris 'sex-toy' sculpture by American artist Paul McCarthy after outrage

9.- Exhibition at National Gallery in London explores Rembrandt's final years of painting

10.- 'Hans Memling: A Flemish Renaissance' opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome

Related Stories



Menil, Whitney, and Harvard Art Museums launch artists documentation program online archive

Cyprus to get back rare 13th-century Orthodox frescoes from United States museum

Houston's Menil Collection Announces Return of Byzantine Frescoes to Cyprus in 2012

Seeing Stars: Visionary Drawing from the collection on view at the Menil Collection

Exhibition of Rarely-Seen Drawings Explore Noted Sculptor, Tony Smith's Early Work at the Menil Collection

Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-66 on View at the Menil Collection in Houston

David McGee's Ready Made Africans on View at the Menil Collection

Scholars to Present New Findings on Henri Rousseau's Media and Methods

The Menil Collection to Publish Jasper Johns Catalogue Raisonné

Exhibition at the Menil Collection Features Works Never Before Displayed in the Museum



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site