A handmade and primitive looking wooden figure by Joaquín Torres-García recently caught my eye on Pinterest (found via one of my favourite pinners Saskia Ericson). Curious to learn a little more I started searching Google. It turns out that Joaquín was born in Montevideo, Uruguay in 1874!! I was surprised by this because I’d never heard of Joaquín Torres-García and when I Googled him I half expected to find a contemporary artist alive today. Perhaps because I was immediately reminded of Andy Rementer’s wonderful People Blocks and Mark Alsweiler’s bright and charming hand carved figures recently seen on The Design Files.
Torres-García even collaborate with architect Antoni Gaudi (a dream collaboration!) during the early 1900’s while in Barcelona, Spain. A little after this according to Literal magazine he was inspired by his children to begin designing wooden figures and toys, “Torres-García observed them at play, and seeing that they broke their toys to learn how they functioned, he realized that they didn’t answer the child’s need to learn playing. He designed toys in parts that could be interchanged and became so involved with their creative and didactic possibilities that he teamed with a carpenter to produce toys which he called “art toys,” and created the Alladin Company.”
By the mid-late 1920’s Torres-García's focus turned to painting and writing. He had settled in Paris and went on to become known as the father of Latin American Constructivism. No matter what moment in time Torres-García was from discovering his wooden figures was an absolute delight that brightened my day. Maybe they’ll brighten yours too! More images here and here.