Joaquín Torres-García. Construction in White and Black. 1938. Oil on paper mounted on wood, 31 3/4 × 40 1/8″ (80.7 × 102 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of David Rockefeller. Photo: Thomas Griesel. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015

This major retrospective of Joaquín Torres-García (Uruguayan, 1874–1949) features works ranging from the late 19th century to the 1940s, including drawings, paintings, objects, sculptures, and original artist notebooks and rare publications. The exhibition combines a chronological display with a thematic approach, structured in a series of major chapters in the artist’s career, with emphasis on two key moments: the period from 1923 to 1933, when Torres-García participated in various European early modern avant-garde movements while establishing his own signature pictographic/Constructivist style; and 1935 to 1943, when, having returned to Uruguay, he produced one of the most striking repertoires of synthetic abstraction.

Torres-García is one of the most complex and important artists of the first half of the 20th century, and his work opened up transformational paths for modern art on both sides of the Atlantic. His personal involvement with a significant number of early avant-garde movements—from Catalan Noucentismo to Cubism, Ultraism-Vibrationism, and Neo-Plasticism—makes him an unparalleled figure whose work is ripe for a fresh critical reappraisal in the U.S.

The exhibition is organized by Luis Pérez-Oramas, The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, with Karen Grimson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints.

Major support for the exhibition is provided by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and Gustavo Cisneros, the Gradowczyk Family, Aeropuerto de Carrasco, and Estrellita and Daniel Brodsky.

Generous funding is provided by Presidencia de la República Oriental del Uruguay; Eduardo F. Costantini; Richard Roth; the Institut Ramon Llull; The Arango Collection; the Diane and Bruce Halle Foundation; The Consulate General of Spain in New York; and The Uruguayan Friends of Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern including Diana and Rafael Viñoly, Fundación Pablo Atchugarry, Fundación Francisco Matto, Fundación Julio Alpuy, Beatrix and Gregor Medinger, and Martín Cerruti.

Additional support is provided by the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund with major contributions from Alice and Tom Tisch, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Glenn and Eva Dubin, Blavatnik Family Foundation, The Donald R. Mullen Family Foundation, Inc., The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Franz Wassmer, Karen and Gary Winnick, and from the Susan and Leonard Feinstein Foundation.

Support for the publication is provided by The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

MoMA Audio+ is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Related class: Joaquín Torres-García: Constructing Modernism Across the Atlantic

Past events

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