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Joaquín Torres-García, Avant-Garde Modernist, Gets MoMa Retrospective

Joaquin Torres Garcia pictured in his studio. His significant works will be part of a major MoMa retrospective.

Joaquin Torres Garcia pictured in his studio in Barcelona circa 1920. His significant works will be part of a major MoMa retrospective.

Joaquín Torres-García, a towering figure in modern art, whose influence extended from South America to Europe, will get a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City this month. Drawings, paintings, objects, sculptures, and original artist notebooks will be featured, according to the museum.

Torres-García was a player in European early modern avant-garde movements, a pioneer of the renaissance of Classicism and champion of Catalan Art from Uruguay, where he resided for parts of his life.

He’s best known for his signature pictographic/Constructivist style. He returned to Uruguay in 1935 after living in Europe and enjoyed his most fruitful period, producing striking repertoires of synthetic abstraction, according to MoMa.

Joaquín Torres-García, MoMa Retrospective
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From 1923 to 1933, he participated in various European early modern avant-garde movements from Catalan Noucentismo to Cubism, Ultraism-Vibrationism, and Neo-Plasticism.

Ironically, Torres-Garcia has long been under-appreciated in the United States, which makes his work ripe for a fresh critical reappraisal in the this country.

The MoMa exhibition combines a chronological display with a thematic approach, structured in a series of major chapters in the artist’s career, according to the museum.

Luis Pérez-Oramas, The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, and Karen Grimson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints organized the exhibit. Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Gustavo Cisneros, the Gradowczyk Family, Aeropuerto de Carrasco and Estrellita and Daniel Brodsky, provided major support.

Torres-García was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1874. He was the first child of Joaquim Torras Fradera, a merchant who immigrated to Uruguay from Spain. The family return to Mataró, Spain in 1891 and settled in Barcelona.

While there, Joaquín enrolled in School of Fine Arts in Barcelona and became a contemporary of Picasso. His travels took him to France, Italy and Belgium, where he created many of his masterpieces.

The exhibit, titled “Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern” runs from Oct. 25 through Feb. 15. For more information, check out MoMa’s Web site.

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