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THE ART OF JOAQUIN TORRES-GARCIA: CONSTRUCTIVE UNIVERSALISM AND THE INVERSION OF ABSTRACTION. Aarnoud Rommens. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York, 2017. An Ashgate Book. 200 pp. with 43 ills. 26 x 18 cm. LC 2016-10109 ISBN 9781472471437 In English.
Publisher's description: Intertwining art history, aesthetic theory, and Latin American studies, Aarnoud Rommens challenges contemporary Eurocentric revisions of the history of abstraction through this study of the Uruguayan artist Joaquin Torres-Garcia. After studying and painting (for decades) in Europe, Torres-Garcia returned in 1934 to his native home Montevido with the dream of reawakening and revitalizing what he considered the true indigenous essence of Latin American art: "Abstract Spirit." Rommens rigorously analyses the paradoxes of the painter's aesthetic-philosophical doctrine of Constructive Universalism as it sought to adapt European geometric abstraction to the Americas. Whereas previous scholarship has dismissed Torres-García's theories as self-contradictory, Rommens seeks to recover their creative potential as well as their role in tracing the transatlantic routes of the avant-garde. Through the highly original method of reading Torres-García's artworks as a critique on the artist's own writings, Rommens reveals how Torres-García appropriates the colonial language of Primitivism to construct the artificial image of "pure" pre-Columbian abstraction. Torres-Garcia thereby inverts the history of art: this book teases out the important lessons of this gesture and the implications for our understanding of abstraction today.
Artist(s):Torres-Garcia, Joaquin
Indexing: Western, Latin America — Uruguay — 1900-1945 — Painting, Criticism/Theory
Plans: 73,55
Worldwide Number: 172212
Hardcover $150.00    

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