Lucy Ellmann

  • “Reconstructions: Avant-Garde Art in Japan, 1945–1965”

    Since World War II, Japanese art has undergone a transformation as radical as any in the West, from which it somewhat derives. The socialist realism of official

    war artists was quickly ousted by expressionistic depictions of devastation and the similarly macabre subject matter of the surrealists, who had been suppressed during the war for their suspected liaison with the communist faction. Among the latter, Kikuji Yamashita tried to be controversially distasteful in his raw and often inane paintings of social injustices. Human vulnerability was treated with more finesse by surrealists such as

  • Joaquín Torres-García

    Joaquín Torres-García was born in Uruguay in 1874; in 1893 he moved with his family to Barcelona, where he studied at the Academia de Bellas Artes. Following close to 19 years of almost continual travel throughout Europe, he settled in Paris in 1926, and subsequently became involved in the circle of avant-garde artists that included Georges Vantongerloo, Piet Mondrian, and Theo van Doesburg, whose geometric abstractions influenced Torres-García's development of a “Universal Constructivism.” Torres-García believed that an ideal representation of reality could be achieved through the integration