Our gallery has always been very close to the world of Joaquin Torres-Garcia. Besides including his work in our shows dedicated to the historical avant-gardes, in 1995 we dedicated and exhibition to his paintings alongside Rafael Barradas and Pedro Figari, moreover, we have shown the work of two of his disciples, his son Augusto in 1996 and Alceu Ribeiro earlier this year.
Now, we are the first art gallery in Barcelona, and possibly in Europe, that presents an exhibition dedicated to the Taller Torres-Garcia (the Torres-Garcia workshop, 1942-1949), founded by Torres-Garcia himself. The Taller took in young apprentices ready to follow the teachings of the Maestro. Thanks to the Taller, the torresgarcianan constructivism was spread and became an artistic revolution, not only in Uruguayan art, but also on the rest of the Cono Sur (the southern cone).
By the mid-1930s, Torres-Garcia returns from Europe to his native Montevideo, with a great artistic baggage: from his noucentista period in Barcelona, to his years in Paris where he was a founding member with Mondrian of “Cercle et Carre”. He has known all the avant-gardas and has elaborated his own language, not only in a pictorial level, but also ideological: constructivism.
Once at home he creates the “Asociación de Arte constructivo”(association of constructivist art) and later the Taller Torres-Garcia, with the idea of spreading constructivism. The philosopher of the Taller, Guido Castillo, defines it as: “a universal art, where the most advanced and bountiful experiences of the European abstract art associate with the immemorial tradition of the Mediterranean culture and the spirit, also abstract and geometric, of the antic American civilizations”.
For this exhibition we have picked up works of Torres-Garcia as well as the work of his disciples, artists whom at barely 20 years old joined him and his philosophy and today, well into their 70s, have collaborated with us so we can show a selection of pieces done during the years the Maestro directed the workshop. Torres-Garcia taught them a way of painting and a way of living, constructivism, to which they will remain loyal, creating an art for the southern cone. Their motto “Our north is the south” will guide their careers.
As we said, we have brought together a series of paintings by some of the most relevant member of the Taller Torres-García, from the years where Torres-Garcia himself imparted classes: Manuel Aguiar, Julio Alpuy, Gonzalo Fonseca, José Gurvich, Francisco Matto Gastón Olalde, Manuel Pailós, Alceu Ribeiro, Augusto and Horacio Torres o the Visca brothers are some of the artists presents in the exhibition.
Laso, we have got some original editions of “Removedor”, the magazine published by the Taller and that served as organ of combat against the officiality of its time, which did not accept the artistic postulates represented by Torres-Garcia and the workshop.