Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern

*Planos de color (Color planes)*

Joaquín Torres-García. Planos de color (Color planes). 1929

Joaquín Torres-García. Planos de color (Color planes). 1929. Oil on wood, 11 × 8 11/16 × 13/16″ (28 × 22 × 2 cm). Private collection. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015

Narrator: By 1929, Torres-García was living in Paris, where he co-founded Cercle et Carré, or Circle and Square, a group of international artists committed to promoting abstract art. By this time, Torres-García had become interested in a type of abstraction known as Neo-Plasticism, which was based on a grid containing planes of primary colors.

Luis Perez-Oramas: Planos de color _is a work that is absolutely a modern Neo-Plasticist work. It’s just color planes. But actually it shows this kind of rustic texture. The lines are not right. They are imperfect in a way. The idea of a purely rational composition is over.

The collision of the grid and colors that we see here with the dark, earthy, heavy palette, but also on used wood, tells us that Torres-García wants here to collide two different times: the time of a modernity that points out towards a purely structural work and the remain of an earthy, rustic memory in time.

Narrator: In a letter from 1929 to Theo Van Doesburg, a founder of Neo-Plasticism, Torres-García explained: “I am incapable of staying totally within a framework of completely abstract and pure art.”

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