The Worlds of Joaquín Torres-García, 1896 -1949 at Acquavella Galleries in May, 2018
At Lowy, we always experience a deep sense of fulfillment in helping art galleries create
aesthetically and historically appropriate contexts for their exhibitions. We are delighted to have had the opportunity to collaborate with Acquavella Galleries on The Worlds of Joaquín Torres-García, an exhibition that represented the largest survey of Torres-García’s work in an American gallery in over sixty years.
Lowy framed many of the paintings on view in this important show. Comprising over sixty artworks from the artist’s family, this impressive collection has never been exhibited in its entirety.
In the case of Torres-García’s figurative works, the team chose more traditional, simple Spanish
profiles. These frame designs are based on the classic cassetta frame, also called a plate or box
frame, which has been used in framing since the 15th century. This construction is comprised of
a flat panel or frieze with applied raised inner and outer moldings. The mostly-flat designs seen in these frames also relate to the simpler, more contemporary frame designs used with other works. For Torres-García’s more traditional works, subtle finishes of gold and black were selected. Several frames were additionally ornamented in the panels with classic stenciled ornamentation or sgrafitto, a Renaissance technique of applying paint over burnished gold and then scratching through to create a gilded design.
Torres-García was a Uruguayan artist who spent much of his life in the United States and Europe. He combined themes of indigenous art from the Americas, Africa, and Oceania with modernist concepts, creating semi-abstract paintings that pushed the boundaries of abstraction. Many of his paintings employ his signature style of a constructivist grid filled with pictographs that mix geometry and abstraction with figurative or spiritual subject matter. Torres-García participated in early European avant-garde movements and, returning to Uruguay later in life, founded several schools of modern art that introduced many modernist ideas such as Cubism and Constructivism to Latin America. An influential teacher who was admired by his
fellow artists, he knew and worked with many great artists, including Piet Mondrian, Wassily Kandinsky, Juan Gris, and Pablo Picasso. Juan Miro was proud to have been one of his students.
For The Worlds of Joaquín Torres-García, Lisa Wyer, Lowy’s Vice President of Sales, worked with Eleanor Acquavella and Michael Findlay to select frames that relate to the figurative and abstract subject matter of the artworks, using elements of both historic and contemporary frame designs. Many of the moldings they chose incorporate simple flat panels to echo the flat abstract geometric subject matter without distracting. They selected simple natural or painted finishes, and used floating frame designs for many of the artworks to present them as objects and to allow for the entire works to be shown.