Torres-García, Joaquín
Uruguayan, 1874 - 1949

Biography

Joaquín Torres-García was born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1874. When he was 17 years old, his family moved to Spain. He studied at the Escuela Oficial de Bellas Artes and at the Academia Baixas in Barcelona. He was part of the bohemian milieu at the café Els Quatre Gats, along with Pablo Picasso and Julio González. In 1920 Torres-García moved to New York. He was entranced by the city, and quickly became involved with the local cultural scene, befriending the artist Joseph Stella, who introduced him to Marcel Duchamp and the collector Katherine Dreier. Through them he became involved in the Whitney Studio Club and the Société Anonyme. Torres-García left New York in 1922. He lived in Italy for three years and in the south of France for a short period before finally settling in Paris in 1926. It was in Paris that he developed his mature painting style, which he characterized as “Universal Constructivism.” Torres-García returned to Montevideo in 1934, where he formed the Asociación de Arte Constructivo, which spread ideas about modern art throughout the continent. In 1943 he founded the Taller Torres-García (Torres-García Atelier), where artists worked collectively on murals, architecture, sculpture, and crafts. At the time of his death in 1949, he was regarded as one of the most important artistic figures in Latin America.

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