After living in Barcelona for many years—he had arrived there from Uruguay as a teenager—Joaquín Torres García moved to Paris in 1926 (he would stay on until 1932). During those fruitful years, the artist’s pictorial vocabulary reached maturity. In 1929, Torres García and Belgian artist and critic Michel Seuphor founded the Cercle et Carré group, which brought together constructivist abstract artists who opposed the surrealist movement at its peak in Paris at the time. Despite his affinity with abstraction, Torres García rejected a purely abstract language; he was more interested in work that combined constructive forms and pictographic symbols. "Composition symétrique universelle en blanc et noir" is a masterful example of synthetic analysis of nature, urban life, and the forms characteristic of Torres García’s production. The compositional surface is divided into spaces bound in a perfectly harmonic relationship to express a sense of wholeness; the symmetrical and monochromatic structure is brimming with pictographic symbols and schematic figures.