Montevideo: 1934–49

About the chronology

Key events and activities of the life and artistic path of Joaquín Torres-García (JTG) are summarized in this chronology, which encompasses his works, exhibitions, writings, and life events. Other aspects of his career, such as the lectures he gave in Montevideo after his return in 1934, as well as the activities of the Asociación de Arte Constructivo (AAC) and the Taller Torres-García (TTG) are documented in the 1992 exhibition catalogue, El Taller Torres-García: The School of the South and Its Legacy (UT Press).

Only select artworks, exhibitions, and writings by the artist are featured in this chronology.  For more complete information, please browse the catalogue, exhibition, and literature sections of this catalogue raisonné.

The facts in the chronology have been gathered from a wide variety of sources and have been checked against the archives of the Museo Torres-García and those of Cecilia de Torres.  There exist in the public sphere numerous inaccuracies that have been previously published; this chronology has sought to correct those errors.

Chronology:   Early Life and Barcelona: 1890s–1919  //  New York: 1920–22  //  Italy: 1922–24  //  Villefranche-sur-Mer: 1925–26  //  Paris: 1926–32  //  Madrid: 1933  //  Montevideo: 1934–49

Documentary Materials

Asociacion de Arte Constructivo
photo (historical)

The artist, at left, with artists from the Asociacion de Arte Constructivo at the Ateneo de Montevideo

 
Documentary
JTG lecture Barradas

Torres-García's lecture on Rafael Barradas
Photograph illustrated in an unknown newspapers from Montevideo, c. September 1934

 
Inauguration of Monumento Cósmico at Parque Rodó, 1938
linked catalogue entries »
 
photo (historical)
Arrival to Montevideo
The artist (center) and his family greeted at the harbor upon their arrival in Montevideo, April 1934
 
photo (historical)
Audience at Arte y Cultura Popular Speech
 
photo (historical)
Gravesite of Joaquín Torres-García

Gravesite of the artist at the Cementerio del Norte in Montevideo, executed after his 1935 painting, Estructura.

linked catalogue entries »
 
photo (historical)
Lecture on Bases de la pintura y del arte constructivo
 
photo (historical)
Origen y desenvolvimiento del arte moderno
 
photo (historical)

The artist lecturing during a radio broadcast, c. 1937í

 
Family
photo (historical)

Arrival in Montevideo

 
photo (historical)

Torres-Garcia with his sons Augusto (left) and Horacio (right)

 
photo (historical)

The artist's family's departure from Cadiz, Spain for Montevideo.  From left to right: Eduardo Yepes, Olimpia, Horacio, Manolita, Torres-García, Ifigenia, and Augusto

 
Home
photo (historical)
c. 1940

The artist in his library

linked catalogue entries »
 
photo (historical)
Floor

Floor in the Montevideo home of the artist.

linked catalogue entries »
 
photo (historical)
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photo (historical)
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photo (historical)
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photo (historical)

Artist's home in Montevideo at Calle Abayubá

 
Photographs of the artist
photo (historical)

Torres-García in front of his house at Calle Caramurú 5612, Montevideo, 1949.

 
Studio photography
photo (historical)

Torres-Garcia in his Montevideo studio c.1939

linked catalogue entries »
 
photo (historical)
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photo (historical)
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photo (historical)
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photo (historical)

Torres-García painting in his studio, 1938.

linked catalogue entries »
 
photo (historical)
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photo (historical)
 
photo (historical)
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photo (historical)
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Taller Torres Garcia
photo (historical)
Torres-García and his students at the Taller, c. 1946

From left to right: Joaquín Torres-García, Manuel Pailos, Guido Castillo, Horacio Torres, Augusto Torres, Jorge Visca, Rodolfo Visca, Julio Alpuy, Federico Amen, Jose Gurvich and Francisco Matto

linked catalogue entries »
 
photo (historical)

Taller Torres-García

linked catalogue entries »
 
photo (historical)

Torres-García with his students from the Taller Torres-García

 
photo (historical)

Torres-García with his students from the Taller Torres-García

linked catalogue entries »
 

1934

February: JTG visits the Uruguayan consulate in Madrid, where he meets two Uruguayans, poet Armando Vasseur (1978-1969) and writer Eduardo Dieste (1881-1954), who encourage him to return to his native country.

April 14: JTG and his family embark from Cádiz for Montevideo on the steamship Cabo San Antonio.Two weeks later they arrive in Montevideo after the artist's absence of forty-three years. Various personalities from the artistic world in Montevideo meet them in the harbor, including the sculptor Zorrilla de San Martín (1909-1987) and María V. de Muller (1881-1946), president of the Sociedad Amigos del Arte, Montevideo. The day he arrives, JTG visits the family of Barradas, who had died in 1929.

JTG continues corresponding with friends in Paris, including Julio González, Mondrian, Seuphor, van Rees, Pierre Daura, and Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973).

April: The Chilean magazine Vital, directed by poet Vicente Huidobro, pays tribute to JTG.

May 1: JTG lectures for the first time in the Central Hall of the Universidad de la República, Montevideo, in the series “Arte y Cultura Popular.”

JTG rents a house on the street Isla de Flores, Montevideo. Uruguayan artists visit his studio, where they discuss the idea of forming a group of abstract artists. 

June: JTG starts a series of lectures at the Escuela Taller Artes Plásticas (ETAP), Montevideo.

The June-July issue of Movimiento includes an article by Uruguayan artist Norberto Berdía (1900-1983) accusing JTG of making art in the service of capitalism and being indifferent to the struggle of the proletariat. JTG responds in print in his Manifesto I.

July 14: JTG delivers the lecture “Mito del hombre abstracto” (Myth of Abstract Man), which causes a strong reaction in the art community.

August: JTG founds Estudio 1037, an exhibition space in a rented building at Calle Uruguay 1037. There he organizes a series of exhibitions of painting and sculpture including works by both Uruguayan and European artists.

September: JTG lectures about Barradas on the occasion of the second exhibition of Estudio 1037.

October 8: JTG is made a professor in the Facultad de Arquitectura (School of Architecture) at the Universidad de la Republica, Montevideo.

Exhibitions

June 5: Solo exhibition, Sociedad Amigos del Arte, Montevideo.

July: Two-person exhibition with his son, Augusto Torres, Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes (YMCA), Montevideo.

Writings

Manifesto I: Contestando a N.B. de la C.T.I.U. Montevideo: Estudio 1037, September.

“Los seudos valores en el arte moderno.” La Nación (Buenos Aires), September 30.

“Los seudos valores en el arte moderno.” Pro-Revista de Arte (Santiago de Chile), no. 2 (November).

Historia de mi vida. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo. Published 1939.

1935

January: JTG founds the Asociación de Arte Constructivo (AAC). Rosa Acle (1916-1990), Julián Alvarez Marques, Carmelo de Arzadun (1888-1968), Víctor Bachetta, Zoma Baitler (1908-1994), María Cañizas, Andrés Feldman, Amalia Nieto (1907-2003), Héctor Ragni (1897-1952), Lía Rivas, and Augusto Torres (1913-1993) are founding members.

April: JTG meets Uruguayan architects E. Leborgne (1906-1986), Luis Fresnedo Siri (1903-1975), Florio Parpagnolli, and the engineer Eladio Dieste (1917-2000), all of whom are influenced by the artist’s ideas.

May 30: JTG gives the talk “De la libertad y el academicismo en la enseñanza del arte” (Freedom and Academicism in Art Teaching) at the Círculo de Bellas Artes, Montevideo.

August: JTG becomes contributor and editor of the weekly cultural page for the Montevideo newspaper El Pueblo, until 1936.

JTG is included in a portfolio of prints (Essais, no. 43) published in Paris by Anatole Jakovski (Editions G. Orobitz). Essais featured works by modern artists such as Arp, Hélion, Calder, Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), Fernand Léger (1881-1955), Miró, Picasso, Ozenfant, Lipchitz, and Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968).

Works

JTG paints a series of black and white structures without symbols in which the elements are shaded to suggest a shallow relief. Here he experiments with inserting geometric shapes to the orthogonal plan of the painting.

Exhibitions

May 30: Group exhibition of works by members of Asociación de Arte Constructivo, Museo Municipal de de Bellas Artes Juan Manuel Blanes, Montevideo

Writings

Estructura. Montevideo: Alfar.

“Mensaje para los amigos de Chile.” In Salón de Agosto, exh. cat. Santiago de Chile.

El camino hacia el Arte Universal. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo, January.

“Piet Mondrian.” La Nación, June.

“Valores de tradición y de evolución.” El Pueblo (Montevideo), August 18.

“Conceptos de arte.” El Pueblo, August 26.

“Notas de viaje.” El Pueblo, August 26.

“Libertad y disciplina.” El Pueblo, September 1.

“Notas de viaje, impresiones de Nueva York.” El Pueblo, September 1.

1936

 

March: The Facultad de Arquitectura (School of Architecture) approves a program of bimonthly talks to be given by JTG on a variety of modern art themes.

March 4: Daughter Olimpia Torres and son-in-law Eduardo Díaz Yepes leave for Spain. JTG won’t see them again until 1948, when Olimpia and her husband and two children return to Montevideo from Europe.

April: JTG gives a lecture on Lipchitz at the Centro Israelita, Montevideo.

May: The first issue of the AAC’s magazine Círculo y Cuadrado, a continuation of the Parisian Cercle et Carré, is published Montevideo with texts translated to and from Spanish and French.

JTG travels to Argentina to lecture about Lipchitz at the Hebrew Society, Buenos Aires.

August: The second issue of Círculo y Cuadrado salutes magazines of the world that champion abstract art, such as Axis in England, II Milione in Italy, Pro in Chile, Gaceta de Arte in Spain, and Thèse, Antithèse, Synthèse, and Cahiers d’Art in France.

December 2: JTG receives a letter from Julio González congratulating him on his work and that of fellow Uruguayan abstractionists exhibited at the Salon des Surindépendants.

JTG begins broadcasting lectures through several radio stations in Montevideo. In several paintings he writes “TSF” (Télecomunications sans fil), which translates as “wireless”.

Exhibitions

October 18: Solo exhibition, Asociación Cristiana de Jóvenes (YMCA), Montevideo

October 21: Group exhibition of works by members of Asociación de Arte Constructivo, “Salon des Surindépendants de Paris.”

November 11: Group exhibition and benefit sale to raise money for Spanish intellectuals persecuted by the Franco regime, Ateneo, Montevideo.

Included in ongoing exhibition “Museum of Living Art” (collection of A. E. Gallatin), New York University.

Writings

“Amedée Ozenfant.” La Nación, January.

“Edouard Manet, padre del Impresionismo.” Uruguay. April.

“De la tradición Andina-Arte Precolombiano.” Círculo y Cuadrado (Montevideo), no. 1 (May).

“El escultor Jacques Lipchitz.” Tribuna Cultural Montevideo, no. 3 (May): 24.

“Una conversación con Léonce Rosenberg.” La Nación, April.

“El plano en que deseamos situarnos.” Círculo y Cuadrado, no. 2 (August).

“Palabras de Torres-García.” Tribuna Cultural Montevideo, nos. 5-6 (August): 5-6.

1937

January–February: JTG actively corresponds with Jacques Lipchitz and Julio González and receives a card from Mondrian.

April 28: JTG attends a lecture at Amigos del Arte in Montevideo by Maruja Mallo (1902-1995), a Spanish Surrealist artist who met JTG in Madrid; she was a member of the Grupo de Arte Constructivo who had recently settled in Buenos Aires to escape the Franco regime in Spain.

August 25: At JTG’s home, Uruguayan writer Francisco Espínola (1901-1973) reads “La fuga en el espejo" one of his famous short stories influenced by Surrealism.

Works

November: JTG completes Monumento c?smico, 1937 (1937.43), a wall of pink granite with symbols carved on individual blocks crowned by a sphere, a cube, and a pyramid.

JTG begins a series of monochrome paintings in tempera. He studies the religion, anthropology and history of pre-Columbian civilizations and introduces motifs taken from Indo-American art into his painting, featuring symbols such as suns, snakes, llamas, Mayan pyramids, and condors, and words such as “Indoamérica,” “Andes,” and “Arte,” written in his invented alphabet.

Exhibitions

Writings:

“Razón y naturaleza.” Círculo y Cuadrado, no. 4 (May).

“El arte naturalista y el arte geométrico.” Círculo y Cuadrado, no. 5 (September).

“Diálogo con un visitante a mi exposición.” El Plata, November 2.

“Valorización.” El Plata, December 9.

1938

JTG lectures at the Facultad de Arquitectura during the year.

August 5: JTG attends the play "Bodas de sangre" (Blood Wedding) by Federico García Lorca, featuring the actress and theater director Margarita Xirgu (1888-1969), a Spanish exile living in Montevideo.

July 24: In his diary, JTG notes the deaths of painter Pedro Figari and writer Carlos Reyles (1868-1938), whom JTG had probably met when Reyles was a director of radio broadcasting in Montevideo.

Writings

“La tradition impersonnelle.” Volontés (Paris), no. 7 (January).

“Théo Van Doesburg.” La Nación, February.

“Aquí en Montevideo.” Círculo y Cuadrado, no. 6 (March).

“La Tradition Impersonelle.” Círculo y Cuadrado, no. 6 (March).

“L’esperit d’una raça.” Ressorgiment (Buenos Aires) 23, no. 285 (August).

“La tradición constructiva de América.” Círculo y Cuadrado, no. 7 (September).

Orientación y concepto de nuestra cultura” (Orientation & concept of our culture). Círculo y Cuadrado, no. 7 (September).

“El arte de Alfaro Siqueiros. Alfar 16, no. 78 (October).

“Artistas Israelitas en Paris.” Tribuna Cultural Montevideo, no. 11 (December): 17.

Manifesto II: Constructivo 100%. Leaflet. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo, December.

La tradición del Hombre Abstracto: Doctrina constructivista. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo. 

1939

JTG meets the Uruguayan writer Juan Carlos Onetti (1909-1994), who had returned to Montevideo from Buenos Aires to work as the editor of the highly regarded weekly journal, Marcha (through 1942).  Onetti frequently visits JTG to discuss publication of JTG’s articles in Marcha.

March 22: The AAC joins the Congreso Interamericano de Indianistas (Inter-American Congress of Indian Studies), organized by the Bolivian government in La Paz.

March 28: JTG writes in his diary, "Madrid fell. The war in Spain is over." Throughout the war years he noted events related to the war, as well as the views of his wife and children.

December 17: JTG writes in his diary that the German warship Admiral Graf Spee was sunk in Montevideo's harbor.

Works

JTG begins a series of portraits of famous men (including Socrates, 1945 (1945.01), Mozart, 1946 (1946.31), Cabeza de R. Wagner, 1940 (1940.20), J. S. Bach, 1939 (1939.29), etc.) based on known portraits or self-portraits. He also paints N. Chamberlain, 1939 (1939.20), Stalin, 1939 (1939.37), and Adolfo Hitler, 1940 (1940.14) as monsters, and creates portraits inspired by ordinary people. JTG distorts the features of his subjects by arranging them in a proportion determined by the golden section in an underlying grid.

Writings

Historia de mi Vida. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo.

“Hans Arp.” La Nación, May 28.

“Torres-García en la soledad luminosa y fecunda de su vida.” Interview with Juan Carlos Onetti, Marcha, no. 1 (June 23): 3.

“Torres-García habla de la exposición que no visitó.” Interview with Juan Carlos Onetti, Marcha, no.12 (September 22): 2.

Conversando de pintura.” Interview with Juan Carlos Onetti, Marcha, no. 17 (October 13).

“Torres-García escribe especialmente para Excelsior.” Excelsior. October 15.

“Torres-García juzga a Chapelain Midy.” Marcha, no. 23 (November 24).

Manifesto III.III  Leaflet. Montevideo: Asociacion de Arte Constructivo, December.

“La pintura en 1939: Regreso a la academia.” Marcha, no. 28 (December 30).

“Torres-García hace el balance del año.” Marcha, no. 28 (D (ecember 30).

“Metafísica de la prehistoria indoamericana.” Asociación de Arte Constructivo.

1940

February: The Argentineans Emilio Pettoruti (1892-1971), a painter, and Jorge Romero Brest (1905-1989), an art critic, visit JTG in Montevideo.

April 16: Salón Municipal de Bellas Artes del Subte (underground exhibition space of the Municipal Fine Arts Salon), Montevideo, presents a traveling exhibition of French painting from French museums touring South America during the war.

November 12: JTG gives his five-hundredth conference at the exhibition of the Federación de Estudiantes Plásticos de Uruguay (FEPU) in the Salón Municipal de Bellas Artes del Subte. JTG expresses his frustration over the difficulty of introducing Constructivist art in Uruguay. The lecture is edited and published by the Asociación de Arte Constructivo.

Exhibitions

November 26: Solo exhibition, Sociedad de Arquitectos del Uruguay, Montevideo.

Writings

“Zoma Baitler Impresionista” El Debate (Montevideo), February.

“Pettoruti, el ‘Pioneer’ de la Nueva Plástica.” El Debate, February 11.

“Las artes plásticas y su relación con la arquitectura.” Marcha, no. 40 (March 29).

“La reciente exposición de arquitectura en el Municipio.” Marcha, no. 41 (April 5).

“La pintura contemporánea 1.” Marcha, no. 43 (April 19).

“Pintura Contemporánea 2.” Marcha, no. 44 (April 26).

“Pintura Contemporánea 3.” Marcha, no. 46 (May 10).

“Nuestro Arte: Qué puede augurarse para su porvenir”. Marcha, no. 52 (June 21).

“Puede Gastarse de lo propio y de lo adquirido.” Marcha, no. 53 (June 28).

“La forma imitativa y la forma plástica.” Marcha, no. 58 (August 2).

“La decoración mural.” Marcha, no. 60 (August 16).

“Mi testamento artístico” (La idea clásica de lo histórico y lo cósmico). Marcha, (August).

“En memoria de Angélica Lussich.” El Plata, October 4.

“La pintura Contemporánea a partir de Cézanne.” Revista Nacional 3, no. 35 (November): 177.

“Unidad en la pintura.” El Plata, November 28.

1941

JTG is named honorary professor of art by the Uruguayan government. The radio station S.O.D.R.E. broadcasts a series of his talks.

May: The touring exhibition “American Contemporary Painting” organized by the Committee for Art among the American Republics of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, opens in Montevideo. After seeing it, JTG gives a lecture titled “Mi opinión de la exposición de artistas norteamericanos: Contribución al problema del arte en América” (My Opinion about the Exhibition of American Artists: Contribution to the problem of Art in America). The lecture is edited and published one year later by Industria Gráfica Uruguaya in Montevideo.

October 25: Alfredo Cáceres publishes Torres-García: Estudio Psicológico y Síntesis de Critica (Montevideo: L.I.G.V.).

Exhibitions

July–August: Solo exhibition, Comisión Municipal de Cultura, Montevideo.

Writings

“De la libertad y la disciplina en el arte.” Saber vivir, Buenos Aires), no. 6 (January).

“Documentación de una obra y una vida al servicio del arte.” El Plata, August 7.

“Sentido místico del arte.” El Plata, December 10.

La Ciudad sin nombre. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo.

 

1942

July 22: Lincon Kirstein visits JTG’s studio and purchases The Port, 1942 (1942.17) on behalf of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.  

September 22: JTG travels to Buenos Aires for the opening of his solo exhibition at Galería Müller. The following day he gives a talk at the Buenos Aires Colegio Libre de Estudios Superiores.

Works

JTG paints abstract compositions that recall stone walls and a series of constructive harbors that include the large figure of the Universal Man and symbols.

Exhibitions

September 23: Solo exhibition, Galería Müller, Buenos Aires

Writings

“El nuevo arte de América.” Apex, no. 1 July:11-16.

“Exposición de pintura y arte constructivo en el Ateneo.” Federación de Estudiantes Plásticos del Uruguay, no. 1, November

“Revalorización del concepto de pintura.” Boletín del Colegio Libre de Estudios Superiores. Buenos Aires. December.

“Mi opinión de la exposición de artistas norteamericanos: Contribución al problema del arte en América” (My Opinion about the Exhibition of American Artists: Contribution to the problem of Art in America). Montevideo: Industria Gráfica Uruguaya.

1943

January 14: JTG rents the premises next to his home on Calle Abayubá 2763 to accommodate the increasing number of young artists who wish to study with him. Twelve days later he holds the first meeting of the Taller Torres-García (TTG). Among the members are Julio Alpuy (1919-2009), Gonzalo Fonseca (1922-1997), José Gurvich (1927-1974), Manuel Pailós (1918-2004), Francisco Matto (1911-1995), Horacio (1924-1976) and Augusto Torres (1913-1993), Sergio de Castro (1922-2012), Elsa Andrada (1920-2010), Carmen Cantú, Edgardo Ribeiro (1921-2006), Alceu Ribeiro (1919-2013), Jonio Montiel (1924-1986), Lili Salvo (1928-2010), and Olga Piria (1927-).

March: Uruguayan Madí artists Rhod Rothfuss (1920-1969) and Carmelo Arden Quin (1913-2010) visit JTG throughout the year. Rothfuss exhibits at Galería Barreiro, Montevideo.

July 10: JTG distributes a circular to his students announcing a new direction for the Taller Torres-García. He asks them to practice strictly planist abstract painting within the TTG.

December: The last issue of Círculo y Cuadrado, dedicated to the newly formed Taller Torres-García, is published.

Works

In one of his most prolific years, JTG paints constructive compositions in bright primary colors.

Writings

“Con respecto a una futura creación literaria.” Apex (Montevideo), no. 2 (February): 11-17.

“Algo sobre la futura ‘Academia de Bellas Artes.” Marcha, April.

“Nuestro Concepto de Realismo.” Círculo y Cuadrado, nos. 8, 9, and 10 (December).

“Pintura y arte constructivo.” Círculo y Cuadrado, nos. 8, 9, and 10 (December).

“Sentido de lo Moderno.” Círculo y Cuadrado, nos. 8, 9, and 10 (December).

“La pintura de Vieira Da Silva.” Alfar 21, no. 82. 

1944

March-May: Madí artists Arden Quin, Rothfuss, Tomás Maldonado (1922-), Gyula Kosice (1924-), and Alfredo Hlito (1923-1993) visit JTG.

May 21: Working without compensation, JTG and his students realize a series (35 in total) of Constructive Universal murals throughout the buildings at the Hospital Saint Bois.

June: JTG takes Arden Quin, Rothfuss, and Maldonado to see the Hospital Saint Bois murals with Argentine critics Jorge Romero Brest and Julio Payró.

August 7: The local press publishes negative criticism about the murals starting a debate that continues for months.

August 18: JTG is awarded the grand prize for painting at the VIII Salón Nacional de Bellas Artes for Ment?n, 1944 (1944.37). JTG interprets the prize to a figurative painting as a rebuff of his constructivist project. 

October 13: The Montevideo newspaper El País publishes “Universalismo constructivo,” the first of four articles by Uruguayan painter José Cúneo (1887-1977) attacking JTG’s constructivism.

November 1: Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro lectures at the Ateneo. Huidobro will later write an article honoring JTG in the newspaper, Marcha.

Works

July 21: JTG and his students finish the mural project. JTG considers mural painting the ideal complement to architecture and the culmination of his Constructive Universal project.  Beginning in 1970, seven of the murals by JTG were removed for restoration, and in 1974 were exhibited at the Museo de Artes Visuales in Montevideo on the occasion of the one hundredth anniversary of JTG’s birth (the other murals by his students were removed and restored in the 1990s and are now at the Torre Antel, Montevideo.) In 1978, while on exhibit at the Museu de Arte Moderna de Rio de Janeiro, these seven murals were destroyed in a fire, together with other paintings and wood constructions by JTG and hundreds of works from the museum's collection.]

La decoración mural del pabellón Martirene de la Colonia Saint Bois is published by Talleres Sur, Montevideo with contributions by JTG and others figures from the Uruguayan art world.  The texts explain how the murals were executed and recommend that architects take mural decoration into account when planning buildings, instead of assuming that it can be added later.

Exhibitions

May 4: Solo exhibition, Sociedad Amigos del Arte, Montevideo.

October: Solo exhibition, Salón Caviglia, Montevideo.

November: Group exhibition, “Pintores Modernos Uruguayos,” Galería Comte, Buenos Aires.

Writings

“En defensa de las expresiones modernas del arte.” Marcha (August 18). JTG responds to critics of the St. Bois hospital murals.

“Significado del Monumento Cósmico del parque Rodó y de los murales de la Colonia Saint Bois.” Marcha. September 15.

“El problema de la decoración mural. Contestando al Arquitecto Señor Herrera Mac Lean.” Marcha, no. 256 (October 27). “La decoración mural del Pabellón Martirené de la Colonia Saint Bois.” Booklet with texts by JTG, Ramón Menchaca, Guido Castillo, Alfredo Cáceres, Pablo Purriel, Carmelo de de Arzadun.

“Con respecto a una futura creación literaria.” Arturo (Buenos Aires), no. 1

“Divertimento 1.” Arturo, no. 1.

“Divertimento 2.” Arturo, no. 1.

Universalismo Constructivo. Buenos Aires: Poseidón, 1944. An anthology of one hundred and fifty lectures delivered between 1934 and 1943, illustrated with more than two hundred drawings.

1945

February 1: The Taller Torres-García issues the first issue of Removedor (Paint Remover), a combative publication edited by Guido Castillo.

February 5: René d’Harnoncourt, curator for the Museum of Modern Art, New York, visits JTG’s studio while on tour in South America.

April: The Buenos Aires magazine Contrapunto (vol. 1, no. 3) publishes “Hacia dónde se dirige la pintura?” (Where is painting headed?), an interview with the Madí artist Tomás Maldonado. JTG replies to the question in Contrapunto no. 6 (also published in Removedor, no. 10).

Works

August: JTG paints Constructivo en cinco tonos, 1945 (1945.02) a composition protesting the bombing of Hiroshima and Negasaki.

Exhibitions

June–July: Solo exhibition at the Salamanca bookstore, Montevideo, which was inaugurated as a permanent exhibition space for El Taller Torres-García. 

Solo exhibition of portraits, “Héroes, Hombres y Monstruos” (Heroes, Men & Monsters), Sociedad Amigos del Arte, Montevideo.

Writings:

“Reflexiones sobre el arte y el artista.” Removedor, no. 6 (July-August).

“Interpretación literaria de la pintura.” Removedor, no. 6 (July-August).

“Cada uno en su ley.” Removedor, no. 7 (September).

“Nuestra lucha por la pintura.” Removedor, no. 8 (October-November).

“Razón de ser del arte constructivo.” Removedor, no. 9 (December).

“JTG replies to the question ¿A dónde va la pintura?” Contrapunto no. 6 (also published in Removedor, no. 10)

1946

May 19: Argentine artist Gyula Kosice visits JTG.

José María Podestá publishes J. Torres-García (Buenos Aires: Editorial Losada).

December: First International Exhibition of the Madí Group in Montevideo, at the Agrupación de Intelectuales Artistas Periodistas y Escritores.

Maldonado responds to JTG’s article in  Contrapunto (1945, no. 6) by publishing “Torres-García en contra del arte moderno” (Torres-García against modern art) in Boletín de la Asociación Arte Concreto-Invención, Buenos Aires.

Works:

JTG paints Mural de la Maternidad, 1944 (1944.39), a fresco for the Rodríguez López Maternity Hospital, Montevideo, based on a detail of La Edad de Oro de la Humanidad, 1915 (1915.01), one of the Saló Sant Jordi murals in Barcelona that was covered over in 1927.

Exhibitions

October: Group exhibition, “Ars Americana, Argentine, Chili, Uruguay,” Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris.

Writings

“El pueblo ya tiene el arte que desea.” Removedor, no. 10 (January-February).

“Valores constantes en el arte.” Cuadernos Americanos, Mexico. March-April.

Nueva Escuela del Arte del Uruguay. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo.  Published June 15, the book is illustrated with examples of constructivist art, applied art, and figurative painting by JTG and his students, according to the classification made by JTG. JTG’s hand-lettered essay “La regla abstracta” is translated in English and French.

“Del desconocimiento actual del arte.” Removedor, no. 13 (June-July).

“Manifiesto 5 ‘Porqué no son artistas.’ ” Removedor, no. 13 (June-July).

“Nuestro problema del arte en América.” Removedor, no. 14 (August-October).

“De los murales norteamericanos.” Removedor, no. 14 (August-October). 

1947

April-September: JTG gives a series of talks at the Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias, Montevideo.

Exhibitions

April 30: Solo exhibition, Salón de del Ateneo, Montevideo. 

Writings

“Una nueva decoración mural.” Removedor, no. 16 (January-February).

Mística de la pintura. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo/Taller Torres-García.

“No sean majaderos.” Removedor, no. 18 (July-August).

“De la pintura y el pintor.” Clinamen, no.1, no. 2 (July-August): 3.

“No hubo remedio....” Removedor, no. 19 (September).

“León Felipe el poeta.” Removedor, no. 20 (October-November).

1948

Construction begins on JTG’s house at Calle Caramurú 5612, designed by architects Ramón Menchaca and Ernesto Leborgne as an example of Constructivism applied to architecture. JTG designs three stained-glass windows, two iron window gates, and the hall floor, in constructivist style. His students also contribute art works, such as a fish carved in stone for the façade by Gonzalo Fonseca, and a mosaic by Julio Alpuy for the entrance hall.

April-November: JTG gives a series of talks, “La Recuperación del Objeto” (The Recovery of the Object) at the Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias. The focus of the lectures is how to renew figuration in painting and how to represent the idea of things as they are registered in our memory rather than as they are visualized. JTG suggests that color is determined in relation to the other tones in the picture and thus created by the artist, not copied from reality. The lectures are published by the University in July 1952.

Exhibitions

May: Solo exhibition, Sociedad Amigos del Arte, Montevideo

Writings

“El hombre, el año, y la eternidad.” Removedor, no. 21 (January-February).

Lo aparente y lo concreto en el arte. Montevideo: Asociación de Arte Constructivo/Taller Torres-García.

1949

January: JTG moves into his new house on Calle Caramarú in Punta Gorda on the outskirts of Montevideo near the beach.

JTG prepares for two exhibitions in the United States: a group show with his students to be held at the Pan-American Union in Washington, D.C., and a solo show at the Sidney Janis Gallery, New York.

August 8: JTG dies in Montevideo at the age of 75. His body is brought to the Ateneo to lie in state under one of his Constructive Universal paintings, Grafisme Consturctif, 1931. Among those who speak are the Argentinean art critic Julio Payró (1899-1971), the architect Ramón Menchaca, the poet Emilio Oribe (1893-1975), Julio J. Casal (1889-1954), editor of the magazine Alfar, and Guido Castillo (1922-2001). 

Exhibitions

July 28: Retrospective exhibition at Sociedad Amigos del Arte, Montevideo; despite being gravely ill JTG attends the opening. The poet Susana Soca (1906-1959), Julio Payró, professor of art history at the University of Buenos Aires, and Spanish writer José Bergamín lecture on his work. Catalogue includes foreword by artist Amalia Nieto.

December 24, 1949-January 6, 1950: Solo exhibition, “Homenaje a Joaquín Torres-García,” Galerias Layetanas, Barcelona.

Writings

“Lección primera del Taller Torres-García.” Removedor, no. 23 (April).

“Piedra miliaria” (Milestone). Removedor, no. 24 (May).

Chronology:   Early Life and Barcelona: 1890s–1919  //  New York: 1920–22  //  Italy: 1922–24  //  Villefranche-sur-Mer: 1925–26  //  Paris: 1926–32  //  Madrid: 1933  //  Montevideo: 1934–49
Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: de Torres, Cecilia and Susanna V. Temkin. "Montevideo: 1934–49." Joaquín Torres-García Catalogue Raisonné. http://www.torresgarcia.com/chronology/index.php?name=Montevideo (accessed September 23, 2017).
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