Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern

*Abstracción con maderas superpuestas (Abstraction with superimposed wood pieces)*

Joaquín Torres-García. Abstracción con maderas superpuestas (Abstraction with superimposed wood pieces). 1924

Joaquín Torres-García. Abstracción con maderas superpuestas (Abstraction with superimposed wood pieces). 1924. Painted wood, 10 1/4 × 5 1/16 × 2 15/16″ (26 × 12.8 × 7.5 cm). Private collection. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015

Narrator: Torres-García completed Abstraction with Superimposed Wood Pieces, in 1924, two years after leaving New York for Europe.

Luis Perez-Oramas: The_ Abstracción _with the superimposed woods seems to represent a curtain of a theater or a curtain of a window that actually opens to nowhere. However, we can see in this object the hole. We can see this black eye that is often a presence in Torres-García’s sculptural objects.

Narrator: Oblique Rhythms with Fragmented Objects, completed around the same time as Abstraction, presents time as a multilayered phenomenon. Its abstract forms include letters scattered throughout.

Luis Perez-Oramas: We can eventually try to read these words, but we are not sure about them. So what we find in this work is that not only the objects are fragmented, but also language is fragmented. It’s like a landscape that has been decomposed and transformed into a layering structure that is almost totally abstract.

And Torres-García is absolutely wanting to stress not only the precarious patina of these elements that he found in the everyday life, but also the way they contain age, the way they contain time, the way they contain the fact of having lived through the experience of time.

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