Joaquín Torres-García (1874-1949)
- Joaquín Torres-García
- Port constructif avec ciel bleu (Puerto constructivo con cielo azul)
- signed upper left and dated 30 upper right
- oil on canvas
- 20 1/4 by 24 1/4 in.
- 51.4 by 61.9 cm
Private Collection, New York
Galerie Denise René, New York
Royal S. Marks, New York
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Nineteen Works by Joaquín Torres-García From the Estate of Royal S. Marks, November 23, 1992, lot 11, illustrated in color
New York, The Brooklyn Museum, 1977 (temporary loan)
Eduardo Vernazza, "Los 99 años de Joaquín Torres-García. Exposición en el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Madrid," El Día, July 29, 1973, illustrated
Adolfo M. Maslach, Joaquín Torres-García, sol y luna del arcano, Caracas, 1998, no. 175, p. 349, illustrated
Puerto constructivo con cielo azul is an extraordinary example of this profoundly fertile transitional period. It was then when Torres-García conceived his edifice as a bi-dimensional puzzle made of blocks of primary colors, blacks and whites much in the way he conceived his famous wooden toys. This reductive proposal reads like a continuum of interlocking geometric figures emerging and disappearing into the grid. Many of the symbolic figures recur in Torres-García's production: a clock symbolizing time and impermanence, ships representing adventure and discovery, an anchor suggesting safety and truth, a single man at work representing all of humanity fully integrated and in harmony with its environment.
But even Torres-García himself was not entirely convinced abstraction could lead to the new art he had conceptualized. In Puerto constructivo con cielo azul, he furtively re-inserted a few elements of reality into a mainly abstract construction. The result is a masterly executed painting where carefully calibrated elements are consciously suspended between the opposing worlds of reality and abstraction. The present painting, once in the prestigious collection of Royal Marks, sold in these rooms in a white glove sale in November 1992.