16.6 cm x 12 cm (6 9/16 in. x 4 3/4 in.)
(Montevideo, Uruguay, 1874 - 1949, Montevideo, Uruguay)
Latin America, Uruguay
Medium and Support:
Watercolor over pencil on paper mounted on cardboard
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Gift of John and Barbara Duncan, 1971
Joaquín Torres-García was an advocate for modern and abstract art, but he also admired the art of the past. During the late 1920s and early 1930s, he developed a keen interest in ancient American art, which he saw in ethnographic and archeological museums in Paris and Madrid. In this work, forms and symbols inspired by indigenous cultures are integrated into the compositional grid along vertical and horizontal axes. The simplified geometry of these figures and their earthy colors evoke ancient textiles and ceramics from Peru and Bolivia. Decades later, Latin American artists would see in this integration an invitation to ground their own work in the ancient traditions of the Americas.