Joaquín Torres García (Montevideo, 1874 – 1949) was a painter, teacher, art theorist, and a designer of avant-garde toys. At the age of 17 he arrived in Catalonia, his father’s homeland. He had a very active role in the Noucentista movement, advocated by Eugenio d’Ors, and in the promotion of new international artistic currents. He worked with Gaudí on the Sagrada Familia basilica and on the renovation of the Cathedral of Palma, and defended the idea of total art stemming from the collaboration between painters, musicians, sculptors, and poets.
In 1920, after the failure of a small toy factory, he traveled to New York where he had a productive period interrupted by his lack of economic resources. He moved to Italy and promoted a new toy business there. From Italy he moved to Paris where he met Theo van Doesburg and participated in the founding of the group Cercle et Carré. In 1932 he returned to Spain and lived in Madrid before returning to Montevideo in 1934, where he founded the Constructive Art Association the following year. In 1943 he opened the Torres García Studio in order to train young artists in Constructivist techniques and ideas. The next year he published his most important work: Constructive Universalism.