Joaquín Torres García (1874–1949) who responded in the weekly magazine Marcha to Architect Herrera Mac Lean’s (1889–1971) ambiguous note praising the personality of the artist and deploring his constructivist work and publishing the note in the newspaper El Día a week prior [“El Salón visto por dentro. El Gran Premio a Torres García” (1228483)]. Behind the answers to each of the detractions that Herrera Mac Lean formulated to constructivism, there seemed to be something that did not concern the doctrinal polemics, but rather to the interests raised by the law that was enacted in 1942 (and regulated in 1944), according to which a percentage of the cost of the construction of schools was allocated to the decoration of the same ones by national artists.
Joaquín Torres García is quick to point out that his group was not interested in doing mural work through state subsidies, subjecting himself to conditions that restricted artistic freedom, and the reason why did not participated in this type of competition. On the other hand, however, in this note, he stated there were no artists trained for “decorative muralism” in Uruguay pointing out that the rules governing this type of art were completely different from those of easel painting. Stating that when painting a wall, not only the working techniques are variant but fundamentally “the concept” also varied because it was a radical plane. Also, not wanting to let go of the controversy in hopes of the future possibilities the law would change regarding school decoration Joaquín Torres García emitted a radical judgement on its antagonist stating: “Considering Mr. Herrera's pre-eminent position, his distorted views of mural art, and his activities relating to aspiring decorative artists, he could be accused of all the crimes against decorative art that are commented by the schools of the Republic.
[For further reading, please refer to the ICAA digital archive for the text “La aparición de un tercer Torres García” (1228522), as the ultimate response by Herrera to Joaquín Torres García. Also, please refer to the following additional texts written by Joaquín Torres García: “Con respecto a una futura creación literaria” (730292), “Lección 132. El hombre americano y el arte de América” (832022), “Mi opinión sobre la exposición de artistas norteamericanos: contribución” (833512), “Nuestro problema de arte en América: lección VI del ciclo de conferencias dictado en la Facultad de Humanidades y Ciencias de Montevideo” (731106), “Introducción [en] Universalismo Constructivo” (1242032), “Sentido de lo moderno [en Universalismo Constructivo]” (1242015), “Bases y fundamentos del arte constructivo” (1242058) and “Manifiesto 2, Constructivo 100%” (1250878)].