The legacy of the School of the South

CHAPTER 3: The School of the South

In 1934, Joaquín Torres-García returned to his native Montevideo, Uruguay, after being active in Europe for many years. He advocated a theory of art called Constructive Universalism, in which simplified universal symbols, including references to pre-Columbian cultures, were set within grids proportioned according to the Golden Section. Embracing his new geographic context, he proposed a new constructive art centered in South America and grounded in the geometry that is sometimes found in ancient American arts and architecture. He disseminated his ideas through the Taller Torres-García [Torres-García Workshop], whose lasting influence came to be known as the School of the South.

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Image credit:
Joaquín Torres-García
Untitled, 1929-1930 (detail)
Watercolor over pencil on paper mounted on cardboard
The Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin
Gift of John and Barbara Duncan, 1971

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