Asked to describe the ideal exhibition, you might, understandably, come up with something like the recent Matisse retrospective at MOMA: a comprehensive, scholarly, illuminating effort, thoughtfully selected and sensitively installed, studded with works of dazzling excellence and authority. Yet there is another sort of show, more modest but almost as impressive, where the impact of the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts, where an arresting idea, intelligently presented and tellingly illustrated, is more important even than the character of its individual components. “El Taller Torres-García: The School of the South and Its Legacy,” seen this winter in New York, was just such a show, a rewarding, informative introduction to a complex, obscure chapter in the history of New World modernism.1 “El Taller” was the school-workshop that the Uruguayan-born painter Joaquín Torres-García (1874–1949) established in Montevideo in the 1930s; “The School of the South” loosely denotes the artists associated with him. The catalogue points out that this exhibition is “the first attempt to reconstruct the history and philosophy of El Taller Torres-García and the principal artists who participated in it.” The organizers are to be congratulated for vividly bringing to life an extraordinary enterprise and a fascinating group of artists, both virtually unknown to New York audiences.
The peripatetic Torres-García, the master who conceived “The School of the South” as both metaphor and reality, is, of course, well known to anyone interested in twentieth-century art. He lived in New York, briefly, from 1920 to 1922, but for most of us here his reputation rests chiefly on the works of his Paris years, from the late 1920s and early 1930s. They are puzzling pictures that conflate geometric structure, vernacular references, and private symbols; their shorthand images and personal “alphabets,” arranged the way that words or glyphs are inscribed on a page, are held in place by slightly unpredictable grids. At first acquaintance, these pictures seem aligned with the legacy of Cubism, but longer acquaintance reveals that their economically rendered, detached forms remain relatively intact, more like hieroglyphics than the fragments of a spatially complex actuality of Cubist practice.
Torres-García’s work of this type was known to the Abstract Expressionist generation, even through first-hand experience, since there were examples in the influential Gallatin Collection, shown at New York University in the mid-1930s, and in the Museum of Modern Art. Such pictures continue to be regarded highly, but good as they are, they represent only one phase of the artist’s complicated, multivalent evolution. The history of that evolution, like the history of the man himself, is an extraordinary tale.
The history of that evolution, like the history of the man himself, is an extraordinary tale.
During a career spanning half a century and three continents, Torres-García was variously artist, architectural decorator, theoretician, teacher, exhibition organizer, writer, publisher, and more; he was a passionate neo-classicist, a deliberate naïf, a missionary for modernism, a pragmatist, idealist, and metaphysician—sometimes all at the same time. In his restless years as an expatriate in Spain, France, and briefly in Italy and the U.S., he got to know a remarkable cross-section of some of the most adventurous artists and thinkers of the day, exchanging visits, corresponding with them, organizing exhibitions of their work, and publishing their writings. And, as the exhibition “El Taller Torres-García” made clear, he served as a source of information, inspiration, and leadership for an impressive number of serious artists in his native country—but I’m getting ahead of myself.
In 1891, a teen-aged Torres-García left Uruguay with his family for Catalonia, where his father’s people had their origins. Trained at the Barcelona Academy of Fine Art and the Academia Baixas, a member of the Cercle Artistic de Sant Lluch (named for the patron saint of painters), a teacher at an experimental, progressive children’s school, Torres-García was part of a group of enlightened Catalan artists and intellectuals. His friendship with the sculptor Julio González dates from these early years, that with Joan Miró from a decade or so later.
Torres-García started out as a fresco muralist working in a severe classicizing style. Greatly impressed by the French Neo-Classicist Puvis de Chavannes—who had a considerable effect, too, on the young Picasso, among others—and by the Italian painters of the early Renaissance, Torres-García studied fresco painting in Florence and Rome, returning to Barcelona to execute decorations for churches and public buildings. (Most of these have been painted over or destroyed.) Even then, theory and practice were inseparable for him; in his late thirties, he published his first theoretical book, a call for a return to a Mediterranean tradition of imagery and an approach derived from the Greco-Roman legacy. Not long after publication, however, Torres-García’s work began to change, and by the late Teens, the cool figures of his murals were supplanted by freely painted urban scenes, densely packed with ships, trolleys, clocks, windows, and passers-by, pulled to the surface and cropped in a manner that announced their author’s familiarity with Cubism, and a clarity of color that suggested an equal familiarity with Fauvism.
In 1920, Torres-García, his wife, and their children left Spain for New York, via Paris, where he visited Picasso, and Brussels. In New York, as part of John Graham’s circle of displaced Europeans and young Americans, Torres-García got to know such vanguardists as Edgar Varèse, Jean Xceron, and Walter Pach, while his fresh, bold urban pictures attracted the attention of such supporters of advanced art as Katherine S. Dreier, a founder, along with Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray, of the Société Anonyme, a forebear of the Museum of Modern Art. In 1921, Torres-García showed at the Whitney Studio Club—eventually the Whitney Museum of American Art—along with a young American whose free-wheeling interpretations of modern urban life were extremely sympathetic to those of his Latin American counterpart, Stuart Davis. (The New York years also saw Torres-García trying to do something profitable with the ingenious wooden toys he devised for his own children.) Despite this relatively easy entry into New York’s small world of modernist art, the family decided to return to Europe in 1922 and, after a brief stay in Italy, an abortive effort to have the toys manufactured there, and a sojourn in the south of France, Torres-García finally settled in Paris in 1926.
Typically, he was soon associated with some of the city’s most innovative artists, including Theo Van Doesberg, Piet Mondrian, Georges Braque, Juan Gris, the sculptors Jacques Lipchitz and Michel Seuphor, and the architect Le Corbusier—headier company than he had enjoyed in New York. The older Torres children were sent to study art with Amédée Ozenfant in his new studio designed by Corbusier, while Horacio, the youngest, born while the family was in Italy, attended “performances” of Alexander Calder’s circus. Encouraged by his friendship with Van Doesberg, Mondrian, and Seuphor, and his contact with Ozenfant, Torres-García himself began to be interested in a purist approach and began to experiment with simplified geometric forms and grids based on the golden section, instead of the rapid allusions and empirical divisions of his cityscapes and harbor scenes; he retained, however, the sense of the hand and the vernacular flavor that distinguished his urban pictures. His nascent interest in African, Oceanic, and Pre-Columbian art began to manifest itself in his work as well, abetted perhaps by his eldest son Augusto’s fascination with primitive art and growing expertise in the field. (Augusto had begun to collect African and North American Indian artifacts, and a job cataloguing Peruvian vessels at the Musée de Trocadéro—now Musée de l’Homme—where Picasso first encountered African sculpture, gave the young man access to the collections and opportunity to deepen his knowledge of tribal art.)
The paintings of these years are the ones with which Torres-García is most closely identified. At first glance, their increasing abstractness seems a repudiation of both the historicist illusionism of the Barcelona murals and the playful “Cubist-Fauvist” shorthand that followed, yet in a sense, Torres-García had always been an abstract artist; painting had never been for him the simple imitation of appearances. Neither was it a vehicle for unedited emotions. He was always more in sympathy with the aims of the “plasticiens” of Paris in the 1920s than with the Surrealists’ dependency on the unconscious—although he seems to have valued highly the role of the unconscious in making associations between apparently unrelated images and forms. “Essential forms,” in Ozenfant’s phrase, interested him, not fleeting impressions or ephemeral feelings, and whether painting recognizable images or not, he sought always to reveal the “universal” abstract structures that lay beneath appearances. He found confirmation of his approach in the art of the remote past and of other cultures, perceiving that such structures were the core of archaic and tribal art, proof for him that abstraction was an international, timeless, wholly accessible language, not an arcane code for the few.
It’s obvious, though, from both Torres-García’s work and the program of study he was to devise for the students at El Taller that his art, unlike that of many of his Paris-based friends, was rooted in his intense responses to the world around him. In this, too, he resembled that young American he exhibited with at the Whitney Studio School. They would have agreed about the need to channel and discipline emotion in art as well, although they would have differed on the significance of pure geometry. The artist’s task, for Davis, was to translate his perceptions of the day-to-day world and the emotions provoked by those perceptions into “objective” configurations, organized according to what he called “Color-Space-Logic.” Pure geometric abstraction, however, he found limiting, devoid of the enlivening irregularities and unpredictability of daily experience.
Davis’s life-long theme was modern urban life, with all its noise, speed, and incoherence, its technology included; some of his most celebrated early “still lifes” were of equipment to be found in the five-and-ten and the hardware store: percolators, light bulbs, electric fans, radio tubes. Torres-García, for all his devotion to modernism, preferred the handmade, the used, and the weathered to the machine-made, but he was no advocate of a return to the past. Quite the opposite. He was convinced that the modernist artist had a significant role to play in modern society. Since he was privy to a kind of truth, the artist was obligated to share this truth, in order to help establish a new, better social and cultural order.
For Torres-García, there was nothing new in this wide-ranging notion of the role of art and artist, nor in the inseparability of art-making, practical activism, and theorizing. In Barcelona, in the Teens, he had been at the center of a movement to revitalize decorative arts in Catalonia. In Paris, in the late Twenties and early Thirties, he organized exhibitions to enlarge the audience for constructive art, and, with Michel Seuphor, founded the short-lived but important journal of constructivism, Cercle et Carré. Yet all this notwithstanding, Torres-García (typically, it seems) appears to have failed to establish himself or, at least, to establish himself as the kind of artist he wished to be, in Paris, just as he had in New York and Barcelona. And by the mid-1930s, Europe was changing, rocked by the beginnings of the upheavals that would lead to the Second World War. In 1934, after a short and unsuccessful sojourn in Madrid, Torres-García and his family returned to Montevideo, the birthplace he had not seen since he was not quite seventeen; he was sixty.
The city he found was small, sophisticated, even progressive in many respects, but virgin territory where advanced art was concerned, with no museums where modernist work could be studied first-hand, and for all practical purposes, no exhibitions. The inhabitants, mostly of Spanish and Italian descent, looked to traditional Europe as the standard and source of culture and the artifacts of culture. The artist who had been an intimate of vanguard circles in Europe and briefly, in New York, spent the last fifteen years of his life in this setting. He devoted them to bringing the message of modernism and of abstraction, or rather, his kind of abstraction, to his homeland. This undertaking was the subject of the exhibition “El Taller Torres-García.”
He saw his mission, from the start, not as an individual but as a collective enterprise.
He saw his mission, from the start, not as an individual but as a collective enterprise. What he had to offer was not merely his own presence as a single dedicated modernist practitioner, but a way of thinking, a system of principles that would foster the growth of an original American art—a “School of the South” that would encompass everything from public architecture to paintings to domestic furniture and utensils. Arriving with the authority of forty-three years in Spain and France, Torres-García was welcomed with respect and eagerness by a small circle of adventurous Uruguayan artists, for whom he represented a direct link with everything that was fresh, challenging, and exciting. They entered into his vision, assimilated his principles, and together formed the Asociación de Arte Constructivo. Their aim: to create a new art language for the Americas, informed equally by Torres-García’s notion of universal construction and the inheritance of the ancient American past. (It should be pointed out, though, that Uruguay, unlike some Latin American countries, had no indigenous great Pre-Columbian tradition—no equivalent of Aztec, Inca, or Maya culture.)
With Torres-García’s guidance, the group experimented with a wide range of materials and a fairly narrow range of formal conceptions, blurring the distinction between artist and artisan and often, between individuals. But according to the philosophy of Torres-García and the AAC, individuality was of little importance, although true originality, they believed, would inevitably manifest itself.
Although the exhibition began with the artists of the AAC, little has remained of what they produced in those years, so we were offered only tantalizing glimpses. The catalogue emphasizes how much has been lost by reproducing works that now exist only as images in Cículo y Cuadrado, the Spanish-French reincarnation of Cercle et Carré. (The publication was an important part of the group’s activities, since it established an unprecedented dialogue between Torres-García’s European artist-friends and the members of the AAC; texts by Hélion, Mondrian, Severini, Van Doesberg, and Varèse appeared with articles by Uruguayan artists.) The few works that have survived, by such artists as Héctor Ragni, Amalia Nieto, Rosa Acle, and Augusto Torres, demonstrated their debt to Torres-García’s inspiration, as well as to Pre-Columbian prototypes; the complex repetitions and stylized serpentine motifs of Inca textiles and Maya reliefs, for example, dominated much of the AAC’s art. In this context, especially, Augusto Torres’s work stood out for its greater breadth of well-assimilated influences—his awareness of Klee, Picasso, and Gris was clear—but this is not surprising, given his European birth and education.
What was immediately plain was that the AAC’s conception of a new language of art for the Americas had nothing to do with the self-conscious, sentimental regionalism of their North American equivalents, the American Scene painters, or with the equally self-conscious heroic-folkloric approach of their nearer neighbors, the Mexican muralists. (Davis agreed with them there, too.) Like the Mexicans, however, the Uruguayan artists wished to apply their principles publicly in what the catalogue text categorizes as “a new, anonymous, collective monumental art.” The conservative Uruguayan public, however, was indifferent to these ambitions, and after mounting a series of exhibitions, issuing manifestos, and generally trying to raise public consciousness with little success, the AAC disbanded in 1942.
The AAC’s successor was El Taller Torres-García—TTG—“an experimental training ground” where young artists could learn the principles and techniques of universal construction. The real strength of the exhibition was the work of the alumni of this informal, innovative school-cum-workshop, including many pieces produced during their student years. The paintings, sculptures, constructions, furniture, and other objects made by Torres-García’s “disciples” served as concrete demonstrations of the master’s thinking. In one of the catalogue’s most provocative essays, the Uruguayan philosopher Juan Fló stresses the importance of the Montevidean years, particularly the period of the TTG, to any understanding of Torres-García’s art and, especially, his erratic course. Each previous foray, Fló says, won the painter some recognition, but ended in “failure and exile.” Torres-García, in Fló’s view, was “always behind or ahead of his time.” He was no less out of step in Montevideo, but there was no escape, no place to move to, so he was forced to clarify his thinking and his position. The result, according to Fló, was a decision to return art to “an archaic situation designed to integrate the individual, art, and the cosmos,” which the course of study at the TTG was designed to foster.
Torres-García devised a six-step program. First the aspiring young artist was taught how to distill the world around him into fundamental elements of plane, line, and color. Color was then distilled into the three primaries, then into black and white, and finally into a restricted earthy palette of seven hues tempered by black and white. Perspective was explored, but never allowed to compromise frontality. The ultimate step was what Torres-García called “the recuperation of the object,” when representation was once more the aim, but representation filtered through a by now intuitive perception of the geometric essences of all structures. As was habitual with the members of Torres-García’s circle, the young artists were encouraged to experiment with a wide variety of methods, materials, and applications—iron, cement, ceramic, brick, stone, wood, and more, in addition to traditional paint on canvas or ink on paper. In part, this was simply a function of the reality of life in Uruguay in the 1940s. Materials were hard to come by, so an affection for the expressive properties of weathered wood and other recycled materials was almost a necessity. But it was also a deliberate choice, born of a desire to imbue the most humble non-art substances or the most banal objects with aesthetic value.
The students relied not only on their master’s formal method and his choice of materials but also on his subject matter and imagery. They filled their pictures with the boats, cars, trolleys, derricks, locomotives, windows, and clocks of his urban harbor scenes, and appropriated, too, his alphabets—part Greek, part archaic Roman, “written” with a cuneiform rigidity—and his shorthand symbols: the heart for emotion, the sun and moon for the cardinal directions, the fish for nature and life, and so on. They took the scale of their works from the golden section that he advocated, their palette from his prescribed earth tones and primaries.
“Anonymous” and “collective” were indeed adjectives that came to mind in viewing both student efforts and works by alumni. It was often difficult, if not impossible, to tell who had done what. But that made it no less interesting to follow the TTG’s course of study through examples executed at each stage of the program. And true to Torres-García’s beliefs, some individuals declared themselves. Augusto Torres’s accomplished pictures stood out throughout the exhibition. (Never mind an extremely odd painting from the AAC years of two horses in harness seen head on, showing their teeth.) Julio Alpuy’s solemn, witty constructions, like urbanized, vernacular Nevelsons, and his brilliant red-yellow-blue watercolors and canvases made their presence felt, as did José Gurvich’s obsessively repetitious images—these from the last days of El Taller’s existence. But paintings and constructions constituted only a small part of what the TTG aspired to; the ultimate aim was a total environment achieved through the integration of a variety of arts and some of the most impressive work in the exhibition bore witness to how vital this notion of integration really was at the TTG. Gonzalo Fonseca’s ceramics, vessels of ancient American shapes banded with the symbols and alphabets of the Torres-García initiates, along with Fonseca and Alpuy’s decorated furniture and boxes, were among the most surprising works exhibited, while Horacio Torres’s lamp and wrought-iron gates were handsome and original. (Photographs of the Torres home and a series of now-destroyed murals, in the catalogue, suggested the richness of this part of the TTG’s activities.)
This kind of modernist unification of the arts was, of course, not unique to the TTG. The Bauhaus and its American descendent, Black Mountain College, are obvious prototypes. But the Bauhaus sought not only to unite artist, artisan, architect, and performer, but to put the newest technology at their disposal. The TTG, for all its avowed modernism and its fondness for experimental, non-art materials, was closer in spirit to the nostalgic revivalism of the Arts and Crafts movement, sharing its admiration for the handwrought and aversion to the mass-produced. The Omega Workshop of Bloomsbury’s heyday offers a parallel as well. The TTG’s production seems superior, possibly because the decoration and basic forms of their furniture and objects are conditioned by a profound sense of geometry. There’s none of the sense of arbitrarily imposed imagery so characteristic of the Omega Workshop’s efforts, where figures, fruits, and flowers more at home on the Bloomsbury painters’ canvases appear to have been splashed rather randomly on hearthrugs, screens, fabrics, and bookbindings, for no compelling reason.
The final part of the exhibition dealt with the legacy of El Taller Torres-García, which with some new members and a core of original alumni, endured after its founder’s death in 1949 until 1962, functioning as school and workshop, executing public commissions, exhibiting, and publishing. According to the evidence of the show, a respectable number of Latin American artists carried on its principles. Some, originally associated with the TTG, such as Fonseca or Francisco Matto, continued to produce extremely competent work that derived logically from their training at the workshop—minimally altered found objects, usually of weathered wood, for example, arranged in confrontational totems—but often it became a little precious, a little artful, in the European manner. Others, like Julio Alpuy, saturated the vocabulary of the TTG with more evident metaphysical, quasi-Surrealist meaning. Augusto Torres, however, who in the glory days of the TTG was capable of manipulating paint and line with a searching sensuality reminiscent of Giacometti, remained a painter worth paying attention to.
The Argentine painter Miguel Angel Rios, one of the better known artists in the last portion of the show, is more than a generation younger than most of the TTG circle, yet his work offered convincing evidence that the TTG’s alphabets, symbols, and structural principles survive, translated into a loose, painterly materiality that puts the language of universal construction into the service of art about its own making. But the most provocative—and some of the best—works in the “Legacy” portion of the show were those of Horacio Torres, the youngest son, educated at the TTG, an accomplished practitioner of universal construction and an even more accomplished applier of its principles to domestic and public environments. Yet toward the end of his all too short life (he died in 1976 at fifty-two) Torres turned his back on the modernist teachings of his father and began a series of extraordinary figurative paintings, deeply informed by the High Renaissance—especially Titian—in touch, palette, and composition, but at the same time wholly twentieth-century in their materiality, their bold cropping, and their presence. Torres remains, in my view, too little known, too little appreciated. Perhaps in these days of fascination with “appropriation” his dialogue with the past will qualify him for re-evaluation. I’ve been an admirer of Horacio Torres’s figurative work for more than twenty years, so I must confess that one of the most interesting aspects of “El Taller Torres-García” was the chance to see his origins in some detail, information that makes his late work all the more arresting—which is not to discount the value of the early work. A spare Study for Still Life (1949, Estate of the Artist), a solidly constructed but ample arrangement of coffee pot, clock, peppers, and newspapers, was worth seeing in any context.
The catalogue’s useful chronology, along with its documentary photographs and essays, suggests that, even in its later years, the TTG was reasonably successful in obtaining commissions for murals, constructions, and decorative schemes for public places. They obviously had a small group of loyal supporters—a few enlightened architects who solicited their collaboration, for example—but the general reception for the TTG’s efforts was not enthusiastic. The group’s most ambitious project, a complex suite of monumental murals and decorations for a hospital, conceived as an integrated scheme that would enhance the patients’ total well-being, was greeted with great hostility and viciously attacked by the press. (Sadly, the major murals, restored in 1974, were destroyed in a fire in 1978.) The attacks continued, even after Torres-García’s death. In the 1950s, Abstract Expressionism began to penetrate Latin America and the same critics who had accused him of being too avant-garde now declared that the artists of the TTG were behind the times, while Torres-García himself was said to have had no personal style.
According to the catalogue, Torres-García felt that he had failed in his self-imposed mission to create an art for the Americas—not just Latin America—distinct from the art of Europe. He felt that he had failed to tap a particularly American source. The Pre-Columbian work that he admired, that he saw as an indigenous, time-honored precursor of his notion of abstraction was as unfamiliar to most of his fellow Uruguayans as his own most rigorous constructions. Regretfully, he concluded, his own sensibility was that of a European. Yet the exhibition made clear that Torres-García had reason to be proud of his legacy. Even allowing for the large amount of work lost or destroyed, it was evident that his school produced work of a distinctive, special character. Perhaps more important, it clearly exposed a generation of Latin American artists to a philosophy, an imagery, and a conception of what art can be that couldn’t be found elsewhere in South America, while Torres-García’s teachings and example stimulated work of serious ambition and respectable quality.
It would, though, have been helpful and extremely illuminating to have seen more of Torres-García’s own art in the exhibition. (A larger amount is illustrated in the catalogue; apparently, some works proved unavailable because of internecine wrangles with the artist’s estate, which is our loss.) More of Torres-García’s works might have helped clarify the differences between the master and his entourage. As it is, Torres-García remains a slightly mysterious figure, a challenging artist whose work and career continue to provoke questions.
What, for example, is the relationship between Torres-García’s works of the Twenties and Thirties and Adolph Gottlieb’s Pictographs of the Forties? Gottlieb must have been aware of Torres-García’s pictures, both from magazine reproductions and originals, when he was painting the Pictographs, and, as a member of John Graham’s circle in the 1920s, he could have known Torres-García during his New York years. Superficially, the two series are similar: both are arrangements of personal symbols and images contained by grids. But Torres-García’s pictures are packed with images the way a storage wall is packed with objects and, no matter how simplified, each image is rooted in observed actuality. Gottlieb’s “glyphs” are disembodied, calligraphic, richly suggestive, but non-specific. His grids momentarily hold together these ambiguous symbols, but they “read” across and beyond individual compartments, setting up complex shifts of scale and rhythm across the surface of the canvas. Far from being declarations of universal, logical order, Gottlieb’s pictures are testimony to the power of the collective unconscious. The more closely one looks, the more different the pictures are, yet at the same time, their relationship is equally plain. It’s a connection that merits further investigation.
Two final comments. First: the catalogue of “El Taller Torres-García,” as a pioneering effort, modestly disclaims any possibility of being comprehensive or exhaustive, yet it is an impressive document, scrupulously re- searched, handsomely presented, well illustrated, and extremely informative. As an introduction to the absorbing history of the TTG, its origins, its philosophy, and its evolution, the catalogue seems quite definitive. In addition to essays by the show’s organizers and other contributors, it includes translations of Torres-García’s writings, excerpts from the manifestos, biographies, and exhibition histories of all artists included in the show, plus a wide range of documentary photographs and fairly accurate reproductions of works in the exhibit. All in all, a valuable document.
Second: I’m always slightly embarrassed at how little I know about Latin American art. It has something to do with which languages I speak and where I have and haven’t traveled, but it isn’t easy to be informed about either the historical or current art of our southern neighbors from what is regularly shown in New York museums and galleries. A large exhibition currently being planned by the Museum of Modern Art is supposed to remedy that, but the way “El Taller Torres-García” was presented here is typical. In Madrid, it was shown at the newest, chic-est exhibition space in town, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and while the Bronx Museum of the Arts should be congratulated for having taken the show and for having installed it generously and handsomely, it is not exactly a central location. With all respect, and without casting aspersions on the Bronx and its inhabitants, I can’t help wondering why a show of this seriousness, depth, and ambition wasn’t installed where a larger cross-section of the museum-going public might have seen it. Explanations involving demographics and the content of the exhibition come to mind, of course, but isn’t relegating Latino art to the outer boroughs condescending? Isn’t the whole point of multiculturalism to bring the “marginalized” into the “mainstream,” not to enlarge the ghetto?
- “El Taller Torres-García: The School of the South and Its Legacy” was on view at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York, from October 22, 1992, through January 10, 1993. It was earlier seen at the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (June-August 1991), the Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, Austin, Texas (September-December 1991), and the Museo de Monterrey, Mexico (January-April 1992). It is now on view at the Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico City (February-May 1993). A catalogue, edited by the curator, Mari Carmen Ramírez of the Huntington Gallery, has been published by the University of Texas Press (395 pages, $50; $29.95 paper).
This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 11 Number 8, on page 17
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