New York

Joaquin Torres-Garcia

Royal Marks Gallery

When Adolph Gottlieb’s pictograms of the ’40s were first seen, discussion centered—quite properly—on their Jungian implications, although the compositional type made up of grid and ideograph (which Gottlieb arrogated unto himself) was, in fact, not novel at all but had been fully articulated in the painting of Joaquin Torres-Garcia from the 1920s on. Gottlieb must have encountered this production in his early stays in Paris during the 1930s. If not, he certainly could have become acquainted with Torres-Garcia’s work in New York, as it was on view both at the Museum of Modern Art and the old Museum of Non-Objective Art, as the Guggenheim Museum used to be called. Torres-Garcia’s compositional precepts had been subsumed into the painting of the now ignored Jean Xceron, who enjoyed enormous prestige as a vanguard figure in the 1940s and through whom Gottlieb also could have been made aware

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