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La ciudad sin nombre [The City without a Name]. Montevideo.
11.5 x 14.9 x 0.6 cm (4 1/2 x 5 7/8 x 1/4 in.)
(Montevideo, Uruguay, 1874 - 1949, Montevideo, Uruguay)
Latin America, Uruguayan
Medium and Support:
First edition. Artist's book
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of Jacqueline Barnitz, 2017
This drawing on wood shares its title with a handwritten book Joaquín Torres-García published in 1938, a few years after returning to Montevideo from Europe. This work functions like artistic manifestos that affirm the artist’s key beliefs. The drawing depicts symbols and written names of historic figures important to Torres-García’s ideas about art and humanity. The book summarizes several lectures he gave explaining his theories about art, namely a rejection of naturalist imitation in favor of constructivist abstraction. The artist defined the “abstract man” as ruled by reason and living in harmony with the universe. Torres-García linked his work with a long line of geometry-based art and adopted aspects of the traditions of ancient Peru and Bolivia as a way to culturally ground his practice in Latin America.