Composition symétrique universelle by Joaquín Torres García

A masterful example of synthetic analysis of nature, urban life, and the forms characteristic of Torres García’s production.

Universal Symmetrical Composition in Black and White (1931) by Joaquín Torres GarcíaMALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

From Barcelona to Paris

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.

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.

Composition symétrique universelle... addressed the three pillars of “universal constructivism”: reason and intellect; spirit and life; and the natural world

The balance between visual elements in compartments and orthogonal divisions provides Torres García with a systematic way to join both sides of the duality between abstract and concrete forms.

The universal constructivism

This research path led him towards “universal constructivism”, in which a work exists as the concrete materialization of an idea defined according to its own order and internal rhythms.

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