Conditions in Uruguay in the early 1940s coupled with the efforts of the AAC (Asociación de Arte Constructivo) created fertile ground for the founding of the TTG (Taller Torres-García) in 1942. Joaquín Torres-García (1874–1949) saw the intellectual and working environment of a “Workshop” as a place to share experiences and exchange knowledge unhampered by school hierarchies, focused on hands-on learning. The final issues (numbers 8, 9, and 10 in 1943) of the magazine Círculo y Cuadrado (founded in 1936), were illustrated with works by TTG students, which their instructor described as “absolute realism.” These were works whose components were reduced (while being made) to basic elements: plane, color, and line. Luis San Vicente, who wrote this article, was the Secretary General of the TTG ever since it was founded in July 1942. Though he did not excel out as a painter, the architect was unconditionally loyal to Torres-García’s “teaching,” and devoted himself almost entirely to the administration and finances of the nascent institution. In 1941 Torres-García published his book La ciudad sin nombre, an affectionate if biting description of Montevideo and its inhabitants. Here he expresses his disappointment in that eclectic environment where personal vanities were constantly being traded, especially in cultural circles. In the article “Nosotros y nuestro ambiente,” San Vicente repeats what Torres-García had said and blames it on the lack of public support for the Taller’s exhibitions. He points out what had happened regarding the criticism of the TTG’s 12ª Exposición that, at the time the article appeared, was at the Ateneo de Montevideo.
[As complementary reading see, in the ICAA digital archive, the following articles published in the magazine Cercle et Carré (Círculo y Cuadrado): by Joaquín Torres-García “Aquí, en Montevideo” (1263116), “El plano en el que deseamos situarnos” (1263054), “Reflexiones” (doc. no. 1263191), “La presente revista” (1262991), and “El arte naturalista y el arte geométrico” (1263101); by Guido Castillo “El constructivismo. Muerte y nacimiento de un momento histórico” (1263176); by Alexis Carrel “El hombre, una icógnita” (1263085); by Edgar Varèse “Nacionalismo y Folklore” (1263070); by Carmelo de Arzadun “Necesidad de agruparse para la formación de un medio artístico” (1263023); by Héctor Ragni “Nuestro arte constructivo y las teorías cubistas” (1263131), and “Por qué pertenezco a la asociación de arte constructivo” (1263007); and by Francisco Lanza Muñoz “Universalidad del constructivismo” (1263161)].