Joaquín Torres-García - Latin America New York Tuesday, November 21, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection of Dr. J.F.S. Esser, Monaco (acquired directly from the artist circa 1928)
    By descent to Private Collection of Annie Ansaldi-Esser, France
    Thence by descent to the previous owner

  • Exhibited

    The Netherlands, Singer Museum, Mondriaan, Breitner, Sluijters e.a.: de onstuitbare verzamelaar J.F.S. Esser, December 13, 2005–April 28, 2006

  • Literature

    Mondriaan, Breitner, Sluijters e.a.: de onstuitbare verzamelaar J.F.S. Esser, exh. cat., Singer Museum, The Netherlands, 2005-2006, p. 54 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Dr. J.F.S. Esser (1877-1946) was a true Renaissance man. Not only an innovative surgeon who pioneered plastic surgery, he was also a casino owner, a seigneur and even a vaudeville impresario. In addition to his many accomplishments in the field of medicine, Esser was passionate about art. Esser’s patient, the artist Jan Sluijters, opened his eyes to the world of Dutch modernism, including Leo Gestel, Piet van der Hem and Piet Mondrian. Between 1906 and 1912, Esser collected over 1000 artworks, many of which he traded for his medical services. In 1906, the Singer Museum in Laren curated an exhibition titled The Unstoppable Collector J.F.S. Esser, which showed a wide range of his collection, demonstrating how important Esser was to the adaptation of modern art in The Netherlands. It is no surprise that Esser’s taste in art led him to the Uruguayan artist Joaquín Torres-García, who spent over forty years living abroad in Europe. During a period in Paris that began in 1926, Torres-García met Piet Mondrian. Along with Michel Seuphor, Mondrian and Torres-García would go on to found the movement Cercle et Carré (Circle and Square). Painted during this period, the present lot exemplifies Torres-García's early experiments in Constructivism, as portrayed in the gridded pictorial landscape that breaks down the scene into flat, simplified shapes.

  • Artist Biography

    Joaquín Torres-García

    Uruguayan • 1874 - 1949

    Joaquín Torres-García was born in Montevideo and moved to Barcelona with his family, studying at the Escuela Oficial de Bellas Artes. The Catalan Noucentismo movement provided the foundation for his artistic development. His work was also influenced by Neo-Plasticism, Cubism and Vibrationism, which fused Cubism and Futurism with urban imagery.

    Torres-García returned to Uruguay after a 43-year absence. While at home, he continued to develop his iconic style of Constructive Universalism, a chief contribution to modernism that affected many younger generations of Uruguayan artists. This style aspired to establish a universal structural unity through synthetic abstraction. In order to accomplish this, Torres-García synthesized rather than analyzed the quotidian elements and urban scenes from reality. While remaining in the world of figuration, he integrated abstraction's structural grids within the composition, also incorporating pre-Columbian aesthetics.

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Straatscène met wagen

signed and dated "J Torres GARCIA 28" upper left
oil on canvas
14 1/4 x 20 5/8 in. (36.2 x 52.4 cm)
Painted in 1928, this work is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity signed by Cecilia de Torres and is no. 1928.226 in the Joaquín Torres-García Online Catalogue Raisonné.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $62,500

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Department, Americas
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 21 November 2017