At MoMA, "Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern" is the first major U.S. retrospective devoted to the artist in 45 years. The exhibition spans the first half of the 20th century, surveying Joaquín Torres-García’s (Uruguay, 1874–1949) works in painting, sculpture, fresco, drawing, and collage. The show includes around 190 art works.

"Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern" stresses the individuality of an artist who eluded classification. Torres-García is a central figure in the history of modernism in the Americas and a key protagonist in the transatlantic cultural exchanges that have informed it, according to the Museum of Modern Art. While assimilating and transforming the formal inventions of modern art, Torres-García stayed true to an understanding of time as a collision of different periods rather than a linear progression—a distinction that is particularly relevant to contemporary art.

The retrospective is structured chronological and presented in a series of chapters that span the artist’s entire oeuvre, from his early works in Barcelona at the end of the 19th century to his final works, made in Montevideo in 1949. Two key moments are emphasized in the exhibition: 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. The show remains on view through February 15, 2016 at the New York City art museum.

A Symposium on "Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern" takes place on January 28, 2016 from 1 to 5 p.m. The event will be live streamed. The half-day symposium brings together artists and scholars to explore central works and key themes in the exhibition, including Torres-García's compelling appeal for a specifically Latin American form of modernity, and his influence on contemporary practice.

Participants include Luis Camnitzer, artist; Estrella De Diego, Professor of Contemporary Art, Complutense University of Madrid; Maria Gough, Joseph Pulitzer, Jr. Professor of Modern Art, Harvard University; Niko Vicario, postdoctoral fellow, Getty Research Institute; Jorge Schwartz, Director, Museum Lasar Segall, Sâo Paulo; and Luis Pérez-Oramas, curator of the exhibition.

 

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"Estructura en blanco y negro con ritmos curvos y oblicuos (Structure in white and black with curved and oblique rhythms)." by Joaquín Torres-García, 1938. Tempera on cardboard, 31 7/8 x 19 11/16 inches. Private collection, Switzerland. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015. Photo credit: Peter Schälchli, Zurich.

"Estructura en blanco y negro con ritmos curvos y oblicuos (Structure in white and black with curved and oblique rhythms)." by Joaquín Torres-García, 1938. Tempera on cardboard, 31 7/8 x 19 11/16 inches. Private collection, Switzerland. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015. Photo credit: Peter Schälchli, Zurich.

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"Hoy (Today)" by Joaquín Torres García, 1919. Collage and tempera on cardboard, 20 11/16 × 14 3/4 inches. IVAM, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Generalitat. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015. Photo credit: Juan García Rosell.

"Hoy (Today)" by Joaquín Torres García, 1919. Collage and tempera on cardboard, 20 11/16 × 14 3/4 inches. IVAM, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Generalitat. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015. Photo credit: Juan García Rosell.

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"Constructif avec quatre figures (Constructive with four figures)" by Joaquín-Torres-García, 1932. Oil on canvas. 28 3/4 x 23 5/8 inches. Guillermo de Osma, Madrid. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015. Photo credit: Pablo Almansa.

"Constructif avec quatre figures (Constructive with four figures)" by Joaquín-Torres-García, 1932. Oil on canvas. 28 3/4 x 23 5/8 inches. Guillermo de Osma, Madrid. © Sucesión Joaquín Torres-García, Montevideo 2015. Photo credit: Pablo Almansa.

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To discover more about the exhibition, the Museum of Modern Art has uploaded a video previewing the exhibition led by MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry and curator Luis Pérez-Oramas. Click here to view. For art reviews, the exhibition has been reviewed by The New York Times by Holland Cotter and by the Wall Street Journal by Karen Wilkin.

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BASIC FACTS "Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern" remains on view through February 15, 2016.

A Symposium on "Joaquín Torres-García: The Arcadian Modern" takes place on January 28, 2016 from 1 to 5 p.m. The event will be live streamed. Tickets are $20, $15 for members and corporate members, $8 for students, seniors, and staff of other museums.

MoMA is located at 11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019. www.moma.org.

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