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Joaquín Torres-García

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Joaquín Torres-García
20th century
(Montevideo, Uruguay, 1874 - 1949, Montevideo, Uruguay)

Born 1874, Montevideo, Uruguay; active 1891–1914, Barcelona; 1914-20, Tarrasa; 1920–22, New York; 1922-24, Fiesole; 1924-26, Livorno and Villefranche-sur-Mer; 1926–32, Paris; 1932–34, Madrid; 1934–49, Montevideo. Joaquín Torres-García’s importance and influence on abstract art in the Americas cannot be overstated. He returned to Uruguay in 1934 after having spent most of his life in Europe, where he had an established career as an artist. He was at the heart of many of the most important abstract movements of the 20th century, and exhibited alongside Theo van Doesburg, Piet Mondrian, and other pioneering abstract artists during the 1920s and 1930s. He wanted to bring the avant-garde to Uruguay in order to start an artistic revolution that would affect society as a whole. To this end, Torres-García established several artist workshops, published journals and articles, and lectured extensively, but his ideas were not well received by the extremely provincial Uruguayan art world. In spite of this initial rejection, Torres-García’s legacy in Latin American art has been extensive for he contributed a great deal to a South American artistic identity. A number of artists, including Gonzalo Fonseca and Marcelo Bonevardi, began their careers in his workshop and were responsible for spreading geometric abstraction throughout South America.

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