Joaquín Torres-García Construction with Curved Forms 1931

  • MoMA, Floor 5, 512 The David Geffen Wing

Inspired by vernacular crafts, Torres-García emphasized the handmade quality of this relief made with unvarnished wood, the nails holding it together left unconcealed. The work’s protruding, rough-hewn parts are, however, carefully composed. “The surface [of my constructions] will be divided,” Torres-García stipulated; “those divisions will determine spaces, those spaces must have a rapport.”

Gallery label from Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, October 21, 2019–March 14, 2020
Oil and nails on wood
19 1/2 x 16 1/8 x 1/2" (49.5 x 41 x 1.3 cm)
Given anonymously
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

Installation views

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Provenance Research Project

This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.

Estate of the artist, Montevideo [1]; Galerie Jan Krugier, Geneva; sold to Galeria Dr. Schlegel, Zurich, by 1991 until at least 1994 [2]; sold to Private collection, Zurich, by 2002 until at least 2009 [3]. Galerie Gmurzynska, Zug, Switzerland, by 2012; purchased by the Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 2012 [4].

[1] Enric Jardi, Torres Garcia, Second Edition, Ediciones Poligrafia, Barcelona 1987, p. 177, no. 237: "Propriedad de la familla Torres Garcia."
[2] Chirino Torner, "Joaquin Torres-Garcia," Revista Trimestral del Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia no. 7 (Primavera/verano 1991), p. 3: "Galerie Dr. Schlegl, Zurich." Richard W. Gassen and Bernhard Holeczek, ed. Die neue Wirklichkeit: Abstraktion als Weltentwurf, exh. cat. Ludwigshafen: Hack Museum, 1994, p. 180: Galerie Dr. Istvan Schlegel, Zurich."
[3] Emmanuel Guignon, ed. Joaquin Torres-Garcia: un monde construit, exh. cat. Strasbourg: Musée d'Art moderne et contemporain, 2002, p. 248: "Küsnacht, collection particulière." Margit Rowell, Joaquin Torres-Garcia, Ediciones Poligrafia, Barcelona 2009, p. 70: "Private collection, Zurich."
[4] Agreement of Sale, November 8, 2012, in: collection files 1787.2012, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.

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