Marlboro College

NewsMarlboro College to Host Exhibit of Uruguayan Artists During Marlboro Music Festival

MARLBORO, VT—In honor of Luis Batlle, Professor of Music at Marlboro College and the Marlboro Music Festival, the college’s Drury Gallery will host the exhibition, “The School of the South – El Taller Torres-García,” from August 4 through August 14.  Drury Gallery hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. with additional evening hours on Wednesday through Saturday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Both Batlle and Joaquín Torres-García, the founder of El Taller workshop, are natives of Uruguay. Inspired by this connection, Celia de Torres, internationally recognized as the leading authority of the work of Torres-García and the artists associated with him, sponsored this special showing of the celebrated but rarely exhibited artists.

The Taller Torres-García, which existed from 1943 to 1962, was the most significant art community of its time in Latin America. Combining avant-garde European movements such as De Stijl, and the Bauhaus with the iconography of Amerindian cultures, the goal of Torres-García's workshop (known as the Taller or the School of the South) was to create an autonomous art tradition for the Americas. This tradition was based on Torres-García's own theories of the visual arts.

Torres-García studied at the fine arts academies in Barcelona, where he knew Picasso, Julio González and Joan Miró. After living and exhibiting in New York and Paris, Torres-García returned to Uruguay in 1934 after 43 years abroad with a desire to share his first-hand knowledge of the latest developments in modern art with  audiences in Argentina and Uruguay and to create an autonomous artistic tradition by using Amerindian cultural elements in a modernist context.

Torres-García created his distinctive style, known as “Constructive Universalism,” a synthesis of the opposing elements of the physical and metaphysical worlds.  By placing symbols within a geometric structure constructed with the Golden Mean, he sought to establish an orderly view of the universe in his paintings. 

Through the manifold aspects in Torres-García’s theories, the art produced at the Taller is as varied as the personalities of each of the artists who participated in this unique project, a diversity that Torres-García encouraged.  These artists included painters Francisco Matto (1911-1995), Julio Alpuy (1919 -), José Gurvich (1927-1974), Horacio Torres (1924-1976) and Gustavo Serra, (1967 -); sculptor Gonzalo Fonseca (1922-1997); and ceramicist Lidya Buzio (1948 -).

Writing for the New York Times, Holland Cotter recognized a groundbreaking parallel with the pre-Abstract Expressionist New York group of the 1930s and 40s. Indicating that the Taller artists were technically at least as accomplished as their New York counterparts, he praised their unique contribution: they “transformed a borrowed European style into one deeply expressive of a New World culture.” He concluded that “for anyone interested in modernism today, it is certainly an art to be reckoned with.”

Founded in 1946, Marlboro College offers undergraduate education in the liberal arts and, since 1997, graduate study focused on Internet technologies. Its 330 undergraduate students enjoy an 8:1 student-faculty ratio, a voice in governing the community and individualized courses of study on a 350-acre campus in the hills of southern Vermont. Marlboro has been selected as one of 40 Colleges That Change Lives. (http://www.ctcl.org/marlboro_college.html).

This exhibit is is free and open to the public.For more information, contact Elena Sharnoff, Marlboro College Public Affairs Officer, at (802) 251-7644 or sharnoff@marlboro.edu. For more information about Joaquín Torres-García and the El Taller workshop, please visit www.ceciliadetorres.com.

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