23
23
Joaquín Torres-García
(1874-1949)
ESTRUCTURA OCRE CONSTRUCTIVA CON SIGNOS EN BLANCO
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 970,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
23
Joaquín Torres-García
(1874-1949)
ESTRUCTURA OCRE CONSTRUCTIVA CON SIGNOS EN BLANCO
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 970,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Latin America: The Legacy of Abstraction

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New York

Joaquín Torres-García
(1874-1949)
ESTRUCTURA OCRE CONSTRUCTIVA CON SIGNOS EN BLANCO
signed lower left and dated 1939 lower right
tempera on board
34 1/8 by 40 7/8 in.
86.7 by 103.8 cm
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

This work is included in the Catalogue Raisonné prepared by Cecilia de Torres listed as No. 1939.02


Provenance

Estate of the artist
Manolita Piña de Torres-García Collection, Montevideo          
Estate of Manolita Piña de Torres
Alejandra, Aurelio and Claudio Torres
Galerie Jan Krugier, Ditesheim & Cie, Geneva
Private Collection, London
Oriol Galería d'Art, Barcelona

Exhibited

Montevideo, Ateneo de Montevideo, Taller Torres García, 1954
Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Joaquín Torres-García (1874-1949), November 22–December 22, 1955, no. 19, illustrated
Venice, Venice XXVIII Biennale Internazionale D'Arte, Sala LIX, June-September 1956, no. 7
Montevideo, Museo Torres-García, Boletín No. 3, March, 1959, no. 28
Brussels, Galerie J. Bastien-Art, Torres-García, March, 1959, no. 26
Buenos Aires, Centro de Artes Visuales Instituto Torcuatto Di Tella, Joaquín Torres-García, Obras de Museos y Colecciones Particulares de Montevideo y Buenos Aires, November 4-29, 1964, no. 9, illustrated
Montevideo, Museo Torres-García, Selección de cuadros y maderas, July 28– October 31, 1967, no. 1
Austin, Museum of Art of the University of Texas at Austin, Archer M. Huntington Gallery, October 13–November 24, 1974; Caracas, Fundación Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, January 13-February 26, 1975, no. 36, illustrated; Lima, Galería INC, Museo de Arte Italiano, August 22-September 1975, Joaquín Torres-García 1874-1949, Chronology and Catalogue of the Family Collection, no. 79, p. 103, illustrated
Mexico City, Museo de Arte Moderno; Monterrey, Museo de Monterrey, Exposición del gran pintor uruguayo Joaquín Torres-García, (1874-1949), February 5-March 15, 1981
New York, Salander-O'Reilly Galleries, Inc., Joaquín Torres-García, Paintings, Constructions and Drawings, September 9-October 3, 1981, no. 16, illustrated
London, Hayward Gallery, Torres-García Grid-Pattern-Sign, Paris-Montevideo 1924-1944, November 14, 1985–February 23, 1986, no. 113, p. 93, illustrated in color; Barcelona, Fundació Joan Miró, March 13–May 4, 1986; Düsseldorf, Städtische Kunsthalle, July-August, 1986; New York, The American Federation of Arts, September 1986–April 1987, p. 93, no. 113, illustrated; Miami, Miami Center for the Arts, September 14-November 9, 1986; Houston, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, February 14-April 5, 1987
Geneva, Galerie Jan Krugier, Dietesheim & Cie, Torres-García: Retrospective, April 3-June 27, 1998
Brussels, Galerie J. Bastien-Art, Torres-García, Euvres de la Colección Alejandra, Aurelio y Claudio Torres, November 25, 1998-January 10, 1999, illustrated   
Barcelona, Museu Picasso, Torres-García, November 25, 2003–April 11, 2004, no. 281, p. 287, illustrated
Barcelona, Oriol Galería d’Art, Torres-García: 30 pinturas de 1919 a 1949, New York-Paris-Madrid-Montevideo, June 22–September 22, 2006, no. 18, p. 54-55, illustrated
Girona, Fundación Caixa Girona, November 15, 2007–January 13, 2008; Barcelona, Can Palauet i Museu de Mataro, January 19-February 17, 2008, Torres García: Darrere la mascara constructiva,  p. 169, illustrated

Literature

Enric Jardí, Torres-García, Barcelona 1973, no. 295, p. 211, illustrated; trad. fr. Éditions Cercle d’Art, París 1979, no. 295, p. 215, illustrated
Notes d’art: "Torres-García," Serra d’Or, Barcelona, May 1986, no. 320, p. 73, illustrated
Susan Chadwick, "MFA Shows Torres-García," The Houston Post, Houston, February 13, 1987, illustrated
Adolfo Maslach, Joaquín Torres-García, sol y luna del arcano, Caracas, UNESCO, 1998, no. 356, p. 575, illustrated
Jean Marie Tasset, "Torres-García, maître enchanteur," Le Figaro, Paris, April 14, 1998, illustrated 
Roger Pierre Turine, "Exceptionel: Torres-García à Bruxelles!," Le libre Belgique, Brussels, July 12, 1998, illustrated
José Mª. Faerna, Joaquín Torres-García, Barcelona, 2002, no. 65, n.p., illustrated
Mario H. Gradowcayk, Torres-García: Utopía y Transgresión, Montevideo, Fundacion Torres-García, 2007, no. 7.49, p. 285

Catalogue Note

In this striking 1939 composition, a yellow ochre geometric shape extending to the four corners of the picture plane is the construct where signs related to ancient worlds are lodged.  The bright white figures are schematic representations of the natural world; a man and a woman, animals, a star, a plant form.  There are also symbols that acknowledge the achievements of the human mind: a ruler with a notch that marks the golden section and a mask representing art. 

On the upper right, Torres-García’s initials, (JTG) and those of the Association of Constructive Art, (AAC) are drawn in an alphabet he invented around the time he painted this work.  Torres-García drew the symbols to look prehistoric, because in his view, primitive man was more attuned to nature than we are today.  In the pantheistic and universal perception, primitive man believed in the spirit that dwells in everything: fire, wind, thunder, animals and stones.  That was the origin of symbols which were talismans in the primitive world, he wrote.

By placing the art of the past within a modern context, Torres-García was giving his own art a more powerful meaning.  By pairing the geometric yellow structure, identifiable with the art of the Twentieth Century, with symbols of the most elemental nature, he was calling attention to the continuity and cohesion of a kind of art which he called Constructive Universalism. 

This painting is important because it sums up in a very direct and eye-catching manner the ideas that have made Torres-García one of the most complex and important modern artists.  

Cecilia de Torres, April 2015

Latin America: The Legacy of Abstraction

|
New York