Narrator: Torres-García completed Structure in Five Tones with Two Interspersed Forms in 1948. Figures with Doves is the last painting he completed before his death in 1949.
Karen Grimson: These two works signal the artist’s most personal contribution to the discussions around abstraction around the mid-20th century.
We can see in these paintings that he's playing with two possible options for arranging the same formal elements within a visual field and coming up with two different solutions. With a structural organization, he can either come up with something that is abstract or something that is concrete. We can see a scene of maternity in Arcadia in the work_ Figuras con palomas_. We can see the shape of the mother’s arm and the baby’s arm reiterated in the other painting in the two white shapes.
So with these two paintings, Torres-García synthesizes two different and opposite parameters in which art was being thought of in the time, indicating that abstraction can, at the same time, be figurative.
Narrator: Torres-García’s significance lies in his ability to negotiate the contradictions of the abstract and figurative, the timeless and contemporary, to create a unique form of art.