Gonzalo Fonseca is one of the founding members of the Taller Torres-García in Uruguay. He was influenced by the lectures he attended in which Joaquín Torres-García spoke of a Constructive Universalism that sought to incorporate the language of Native America and Pre-Hispanic cultures as a means to assert autonomy from the hegemony of European visual modes. Fonseca traveled to Peru and Bolivia to visit archaeological sites, which inspired him to create a series of magnificent ceramic pieces. Spurred by some of his fellow colleagues, Fonseca traveled to the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece in the mid-1950s. As a result, the cyclical themes of life and death and the language of mythology imbued in Greco-Roman and Egyptian symbols is found in the work of this period, exemplified in Columbarium.

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Gonzalo Fonseca, Uruguayan, 1922–1997
Columbarium I
Scaffolding wood, nails, strings, and paint
87 × 37 1/2 × 9 in. (221 × 95.3 × 22.9 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds provided by the 2009 Latin American Experience Gala and Auction and Bernard Chappard in memory of Daniela Chappard

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number

The artist; Bernard Chappard; sold to MFAH, 2009.