This exhibition on Joaquin Torres-García (Montevideo, 1874-1949) highlights his "archetype of the avant-garde" character, as expressed by Miguel Logroño - curator of the exhibition along with Ángeles Dueñas - it is a recognisable quality that exists in every art project he establishes, directs and participates in throughout his career.
Torres-García's career develops during the first half of the twentieth century in different cities and countries (Uruguay, Barcelona, Paris and Madrid). As an insoluble complement to his pictorial work, the exhibition deals with the literary production of Torres-García, fruit of his theoretical teaching and informative side, that from a very early stage he practices in both his art and principles.
The collection consists of a considerable number of documents and materials of various types (books, catalogues, magazines, posters and invitations) that are part of the bibliographical and documentary Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia fund. These documents consolidate and corroborate Torres-García’s theoretical and artistic ideas during the successive stages and styles that mark his career: from the classical noucentista movement made up of mural works in Barcelona during the 1910s; through to contact with avant-garde languages (vibrationism) from the hand of Rafael Barradas and the adoption of the principles of constructivist abstraction, when integrated into the groups Cercle et Carré and Abstraction-Crétation. This stage, whose onset can be placed around 1926, is the definite turning point in a career based on the values of order and construction and which from that moment would be enriched with the principle of universality, emphasising the social and civilising work of art.
The list of books begins with: Notes sobre Art (1913), Dialegs (1915), Un ensayo de clasicismo (1916) and La orientación conveniente al arte de los países del mediodía, all written under the umbrella of Noucentisme. The shift to a new artistic and aesthetic conception can be seen emerging in L´Art en relació amb l´home etern i l´home que passa (1919). While in Paris, the exhibitions and his collaboration with the magazine Cercle et Carré open the way for a project of great magnitude, that he manages to put into place in Uruguay from 1934, following the initiatives previously carried out in Madrid: organising the exhibition on Constructive Art and the founding of the magazine Guiones. In Uruguay, through the Association of Constructive Art, which is continued by the Torres García Workshop, numerous conferences, exhibitions and the magazine Circulo y Cuadrado, spread the message of a pan-American art, constructive and abstract. From that time emerge his most important books, which have a strong programmatic nature: Estructura (1935), Universalismo constructivo. Contribución a la unificación del Arte y la Cultura de América (1944), Mística de la pintura (1947) and his posthumous production La recuperación del objeto (1952).