Artist biography

Gustavo Torner born 1925

Spanish abstract painter and sculptor. Born in Cuenca. Worked from 1947 to 1966 as a forestry engineer in Teruel and Cuenca. Drew the botanical plates for a scientific book on the forest flora of Spain in 1947. Began to paint, self-taught, in 1951, at first in a figurative style. First one-man exhibition at the Sala Aguirre, Cuenca, 1955. Became friendly with Saura in 1955, was impressed by the paintings of Tàpies and began in 1956-7 to work in a textural abstract style. Obtained bold contrasts of texture by using cardboard, charred wood, pieces of rusty corrugated iron and other materials picked up at random. Then from 1963 began to develop a more simplified geometric abstract style; his later works include large-scale metal sculptures of a Minimal kind, some made as commissions for buildings. Co-founder with Fernando Zóbel and co-director of the Museo de Arte Abstracto Español at Cuenca, where he lives.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.725