Under the direction of Cecilia De Torres
Assisted by Susanna V. Temkin, Madeline Murphy Turner, and Victoria L. Fedrigotti
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Italy: 1922–24

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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
Documentary
 
Family
photo (historical)

The artist with his family in Italy, c. 1923

 
Toys

Aladdin Toy Company stationery

 
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Artist Toy Makers

 
illustration
Drawing for children
Joaquín Torres García
Watercolor, 1924 22.5 x 30 cm Torres García Collection, Montevideo
 
illustration
Drawings for Children, various subjects
Joaquín Torres García
Watercolor, 1924 30 x 22.5 cm Estate of Augusto Torres, Montevideo
 
illustration
Joaquín Torres García
Nankeen and pen on paper, 1923-24
 
letter
Archivo Fundación Torres García, Montevideo

Letter from Bueno de Mesquita to Torres García about the prices and models sent to Metz & Co.

Florence, July 5, 1923

 

 
letter
Archivo Fundación Torres García, Montevideo

Letter from Bueno de Mesquita to Torres García

Florence, May 22, 1923

 
letter
Archivo Fundación Torres García, Montevideo

Letter from Bueno de Mesquita to The Strauss Toy Shops

Florence, July 14, 1923

 
letter
Archivo Fundación Torres García, Montevideo

Letter from Bueno de Mesquita to Torres García

Florence, July 27, 1924 

 
letter
Archvio Fundación Torres García, Montevideo

Letter from Bueno de Mesquita to Torres García

Florence, Tuesday 9, ca. 1924

 
letter

Letter from the director of Herbert, Wagg & Co. Limited to Torres García

London, March 28, 1924

Reverse: Letter from Bueno de Mesquita to Torres García

 
letter
Archivo Fundación Torres García, Montevideo

Postcard from Bueno de Mesquita to Torres García

Florence, 1924

 
letter
Archivo Fundación Torres García, Montevideo

Letter from Torres García to Metz & Co.

Florence, February 4, 1924

 
object

Aladdin Toys Catalogue

 
object

Certificate of Aladdin Toys stock

May, 1924

 
photo (historical)
1923 Gelatin on silver 12.4 x 8.7 cm Private collection, New York

Amparo Hernández, ca. 1923, con un pájaro de juguete

 

1922

July 17: JTG and family sail from New York to Italy, where Torres believes it will be less expensive to produce his wooden toys.  

August 1: The Torres family arrives in Genoa. 

August-September: JTG spends the month in Genoa, where he reunites with Charles Logasa. Both are attracted to Genoa’s architecture. JTG would later describe it as, “Poor constructions, large wall surfaces, angles, geometric rhythms, contrasts of color that matched what himself and Logasa were painting then.” (JTG, Historia de mi vida [Montevideo: AAC, 1939], 220).

September: They travel to Pisa, Cascina, and Florence before settling in October in Fiesole.

La Nazione di Firenze reports almost daily of struggles between Communists and Fascists.

December: JTG sells toys to a store in Florence.

Works

Makes toy samples with a local carpenter.

Exhibitions

Solo exhibition, Hanfstaengel Gallery, New York.

1923        

JTG works exclusively on the design and manufacture of toys. He meets Henri Bueno de Mesquita (1887-1962), a Dutch artist living in Florence, with whom he partners to distribute toys in Europe and America. Although he travels often to Florence, he does not engage with the contemporary art scene, which is gravely affected by violence between Fascists and Communists.

February: JTG ships toy samples to the Whitney Studio Club, where they are exhibited.

Exhibitions

April–May: Group exhibition, “Annual Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture,” Whitney Studio Club, New York.

1924

February: JTG and John Agell establish the Aladdin Toy Company at 20 Wooster Street in New York.

April: The Torres-García family moves to Livorno, Italy, in search of a better manufacturer to produce the toys.

July 26: Son Horacio Torres is born.

December: JTG moves to Villefranche-sur-Mer in the South of France after visiting his friend Charles Logasa who lives there. 

Works

February: JTG and John Agell publish a catalogue in which JTG illustrates each set of toys and the multiple combinations that can be made with the parts. JTG also designs the stationary and the slogan: “Aladdin Toys are artistic Toys.” With Bueno de Mesquita, he starts selling toys to Metz & Co. in Amsterdam and Selfridge’s in London.

JTG makes the first abstract maderas; he continues to explore Cubism in painting.

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, Susanna V. Temkin, Madeline Murphy Turner, and Victoria L. Fedrigotti. "Chronology: Italy: 1922–24." In Joaquín Torres-García Catalogue Raisonné. www.torresgarcia.com/chronology/?id=Italy (accessed on June 23, 2024).