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Gonzalo Fonseca

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Gonzalo Fonseca
20th century
(Montevideo, Uruguay, 1922 - 1997, Seravezza, Italy)

Born 1922, Montevideo, Uruguay; active 1953-56, Paris; 1956-58, Montevideo; 1958–68, New York; 1968–97, New York and Seravezza, Italy; died 1997, Seravezza Gonzalo Fonseca was one of the original members of the Taller Torres-García [Torres-García Workshop], having studied under Joaquín Torres-García in the early 1940s. Fonseca was one of the first artists in the workshop to extend the pictorial symbols of Constructive Universalism, a theory of a new Latin American art based on geometry and “universal” symbols, beyond the two-dimensional grid system that Torres-García had devised. Around 1958, Fonseca created a work entitled Pole in which he hung the symbols of the house, the fish, and the sun from a pole, thus evoking a totem pole. In another exercise, he hung symbols from his own body, transforming himself into a totem. In 1964, Fonseca began to work exclusively in sculpture, creating stone sculptures that evoked pre-Columbian and other ancient cultures. For much of his career, Fonseca lived and worked in New York.


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