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Alfredo Torres-Tejera

Alfredo Torres-Tejera


Aida Natalia Cardona Rivera

On April 27, the Uruguayan and Latin American artistic community woke to the sad news of the passing of Uruguayan art critic, professor, writer, and curator Alfredo Torres-Tejera at the age of 77.

Alfredo Torres-Tejera, also known to his friends as "Tobi" or "El Gordo Torres" [Big Torres], was a referent of Uruguayan culture who dedicated his life to teaching and art criticism.

An official press release by the Museo Figari read, "But, above all, he was and will always be regarded as a funny, engaging, and dear friend. Alfredo's death means the loss of one of the most active art critics that Uruguay has had in the last fifty years. Gone with him is also a way of understanding art as a space for dialogue and friendship."

Alfredo Torres-Tejera studied architecture at the Universidad de Montevideo, where he met Leopoldo Carlos Artucio, who taught him about modern art, and Ricardo Saxlund—both architects and teachers at that institution's Architecture Department that influenced his interest in art. Torres-Tejera also attended noncredit classes taught by Argentinean Jorge Romero-Brest, who directed the Instituto Di Tella in Buenos Aires.

Torres-Tejera demonstrated an interested in education and the different understandings about art that lead him to become a teacher early on in his career. He taught mathematics and art history in middle school and in teaching institutes. He also taught private classes in art theory and offered conferences in the country and the region on the themes that he specialized in.

He wrote critical and theoretical articles about art for several periodicals like the weekly publications Marca, Jaque, and Brecha, and the magazines Posdata, Arte y Diseño, and ArtNexus, among others.

Torres-Tejera participated in the Club de Grabado de Montevideo as artist and teacher, and was a member of the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), an organization that in 1985 and 1986 granted him the Municipal Award of Art Criticism.

In addition to his work as a teacher, Torres-Tejera worked as a curator for several departments of Uruguay, including Soriano, Montevideo, and Rivera. Likewise, he curated around one hundred solo shows and group exhibitions by Uruguayan and Latin American artists. Some of the Uruguayan artists that he worked with are: Germán Cabrera, Luis Solari, Nelson Ramos, Hilda López, Hugo Longa, Ignacio Iturria, Pablo Uribe, Pablo Conde, and Lucia Pittaluga, among others. And he curated works by international artists like: Argentineans Ana Eckell, Matilde Marín, Eduardo Médici; Paraguayans Carlos Colombino and Ricardo Migliorisi; and Chilean Teresa Gazitúa. In 2009, Torres-Tejera served as curator of the Uruguayan pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale.

He worked in an advisory capacity for public and private institutions, as well as for visual artists and collectors associations, including: the Organization of American States (OAS), the Ministry of Foreign Affrairs of Uruguay, the Ministry of Education and Culture of Uruguay, the Banco Central of Uruguay, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Instituto Goethe in Montevideo. He was an expert on contemporary art for the Daros Latinamerica Collection in Zurich, and was involved with the Museo Figari since its inauguration (in 2010) and visited it frequently.

Alfredo Torres-Tejera stood out as jury member of several competitions, awards, and national and international salons, as well as curator of exhibitions in public and private spaces. His last participation as jury member occurred at the 2016 Figari Award. 



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