As soon as master artist Joaquín Torres García (JTG) arrived in Montevideo, he began criticizing the attitude of Uruguayan artists left and right. JTG was a staunch opponent of artists’ trade unions, of associations without a clear mystical-dogmatic basis, of political partisanship, and of art competitions and academies. His discourse was thoroughly confrontational from the very beginning. He called for a “change in perspective,” for repudiation of everything learned, of everything bound to figurative mimesis, instead favoring focus on the problem of “the visual”—the essential, in his view. Primary to his position is the idea of “Structure” and its outgrowths, meaning a harmonic sense of the whole and of balance. “Art must inhabit the geometric, architecture, the abstraction of its elements, since it must be universal.” On that basis, JTG cites African art which “resides in tone” and “in the abstract”; it does not revolve around what has been learned, “but rather what is known without learning.” That vindication of a modern primitivism (“it is necessary, in the twentieth century, to be primitive”) advocates re-engagement with the great tradition (universal, in the artist’s view), and engagement with a “lost virginity” whose phantom he invokes by contrasting it with modernity, with its novelties and frivolities. [For further reading, see the following texts by Joaquín Torres García in the ICAA digital archive: “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)].