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Annotated works

TORRES GARCÍA, Joaquín

(Montevideo, 1874-1949)

Constructive Ship and Train

Oil on canvas

46 x 56,2 cm

c. 1928

Contemporary Art (20th Century - 21th Century)

N.° inv. 82/226

Acquired in 1966


TORRES GARCÍA, Joaquín on Online collection

Of Catalan origin, Torres García was one of the pioneers of the Spanish avant-garde in the first three decades of the 20th century. The international quality of his theoretical work—Notas sobre arte, Universalismo constructivoandLa recuperación del objeto, among other writings—and his pedagogical toys made of wood bear witness to his wide range of interests.

After an initial period ascribed to a realistic Art Nouveau style followed by a classicist phase, Torres García became an active champion of Catalan noucentisme. Half-way through the second decade of the 20th century he adopted the aesthetic contributions of Cubism and Neoplasticism to create what he termed "constructive art", a style he would remain faithful to until the end of his life.

This work is a fine example of Torres García's constructional principles. The planes and volumes of the painting are arranged in a grid made of thick lines. In spite of the work's schematism its representational elements are easy to recognise, while colour and details are subordinated to formal values that end up structuring the composition, as is characteristic of Torres García's oeuvre.  [S.A.]

Selected bibliography:

J. Torres-García, 1874-1949 : exposición antológica. [Cat. exp.]. Madrid : Comisaría de Exposiciones de la Dirección General de Bellas Artes, 1973.

De Picasso a Bacon : arte contemporáneo en las colecciones del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. [Cat. exp.]. Segovia : Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Esteban Vicente, 1999.

Novecentismo y Vanguardia, 1910-1936 : en la colección del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2009.

Edward Lucie-Smith; Jesus Mari Lazkano. Lazkano. De la arquitectura a la naturaleza. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2010.

The Ages of the Sea. Lisboa : Calouste Gulbenkian Foundatión, 2012.

Santiago Arcediano. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : guía. Bilbao : Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa, 2011 (1ª ed. 2006; ed. inglés; ed. francés; ed. euskera), p. 164, n.º 115, ad vocem.

Annotated works