Joaquín Torres-García

Hayward Gallery

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 of abstract ideas of objects, or pictographs, into an ordered grid. In a 1929 essay, van Doesburg quotes the artist as saying,

There is no time, no space, no matter. There is no relationship between things, no separation. Far away from any fatherland, there lies the universal, the place where art,

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