1927
January 5th: He was born in the midst of a snow storm, in the village of yezna (jieznas), district of Trakai, in Lithuania. His parents, Jacobo Gurvich and Jaie Galperas, lived humbly in this small village. Lithuania, in north eastern Europe was, at the beginning of the Second World War, a country in the midst of a social, political and economic crisis. Gurvich's memories of his country of origin are vague, but he recalls them in his writings and they appear in his pictures.


1928
May 30th: Birth of his only sister, Myriam.


1931
Jacobo Gurvich decides to emigrate to Uruguay together with some friends. The reason being similar to that of millions of Europeans seeking a better world with less religious persecutions.


1932
Jacobo Gurvich sends for his wife and children, who arrive in Montevideo at the end of 1932. They settle in the Southern district, where there is a great concentration of Jewish immigrants, most of whom live in very simple circumstances. His father works as a barber, eventually owning various barber shops of his own. They live on Durazno, Isla de Flores and Río Branco streets.


1933

His adaptation to his adoptive country is fast. He is sent to the Escuela Chile, of which he will always have wonderful memories: his teachers, his friends (such as Basilio Bernat and Martín Muller), his copy-books, his school drawings. It was at the Escuela Chile where, due to his father's difficulty in explaining why his own surname was Gurvich and that of his son was Gurvicius, he is registered under the name of José Gurvich, instead of Zusmanas Gurvicius (his legal Lithuanian name). He already shows his early vocation for drawing. He draws in his copy-books, in those of his sister, and his sister's friends.


1940
On finishing school, the needs of the family lead him to work at the Montag factory, which produces raincoats and rubber articles. He works on sculptures and reliefs in plaster, which anger his mother as he dirties the family's only two living quarters of the old house in the Southern district. His adaptation is complete, he now loves his adoptive country as his own; it is here that his "world" is born, a world in which he keeps separate the reality of the society in which he is immersed, and the microcosm of the family representing old Jewish tradition.


1942
He starts to study painting at the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, under the direction of José Cúneo.


1943
He studies music and violin with professor Julber. He meets Horacio Torres, who also takes violin lessons. It is, as a result of these violin lessons that his life takes an abrupt turn.


1944
Julber gets him an interview with don Joaquín Torres García. His vocation will be strengthened and guided as a result of this interview. His surrender to the world of shapes and colours was complete. He has to choose between music and fine art. His adolescence is marked by the rutine and the discipline imposed by the factory schedule, something which he maintains for many years in spite of studying violin, painting and taking part in interminable discussions at the café Sorocabana. The eight hour work schedule will be transferred, years later, to the world of painting. He always considered himself an "art worker".


1945
The Maestro Torres invites him to join the nucleus of the Workshop, and this will have a significant and extraordinary importance in his life. From that moment and until the official closure of the Torres-García Workshop, Gurvich will participate in all its activities: publications, exhibitions, murals, teachings, etc.
January: He takes part in the 20th exhibition of the Torres- García Workshop, in the South American Federation of the YMCA in Piriàpolis.
January 25th: publication of the first issue of the magazine Removedor, which will serve as the organ of the Torres-García Workshop, and will become one of the most important publications promoting modern art in Latin America. Its twenty three issues will appear every two months until May 1950; later on there will be two special issues: December 1950 and July-August 1953 (with illustrations by Gurvich on the cover).
October 2nd: He takes part in the 23rd exhibition of the TTG, in its new exhibition salon.
October: He takes part in the 24th exhibition of the TTG at the Liceo Departamental de Artigas, organized by the Municipality of that city.
November 6th: He takes part in the 25th exhibition of the TTG at the permanent exhibition salon of the TTG, at the Librería Salamanca, in Montevideo.


1946
March: He takes part in the 27th exhibition of the TTG, at the Librería El Yelmo de Mambrino, in Punta del Este.

May: He takes part in the Autumn Exhibition in the Municipality of Montevideo.

June 15th: The book Nueva Escuela de Arte del Uruguay is published, with a summary of the activities of the TTG and with photographs of its works, which included ceramics, tapestries, toys, murals and pictures.

July 1st: He takes part in the 28th exhibition of the TTG, at the Comisión Municipal de Cultura de Minas.

July: He takes part in the 29th exhibition of the TTG, at the YMCA, in Montevideo.

September 21st: He takes part in the 34th exhibition of the TTG, at the Club Social y Biblioteca Popular de Artigas.

November 28th: He takes part in the 35th exhibition of the TTG, "Painting and New Art of Uruguay", at the Ateneo of Montevideo. He also carries out his first individual exhibition, in the city of Melo.


1947
July 28th: He takes part in the 38th exhibition of the TTG, "Painting and Constructive Art" at the Ateneo of Montevideo. He takes part in a joint exhibition at the Museo Juan Manuel Blanes, which acquires works of Gurvich.
December 4th: He takes part in the 41st exhibition of the TTG, at the Ateneo in Montevideo.


1948
July 28th: He takes part in the 45th exhibition of the TTG, at the Ateneo in Montevideo. He takes part in a joint exhibition "Plastic Arts", organized by the El Galpón theatre, in Montevideo. His sister Myriam emigrates to Israel with other members of the Hatzomer Hatzair, to set up the kibbutz Ramot Menasche, near Haifa.


1949
August 8th: Joaquín Torres-García dies in Montevideo, at the age of seventy five.

October 11th: He takes part in the 49th exhibition of the TTG in honour of the artist, at the Ateneo of Montevideo


1950
February 2nd: He takes part in the exhibition "Torres- García and his Workshop" at the Pan American Union of the OAS, in Washington DC.

June 12th: He takes part in the 51st exhibition of the TTG, at the Ateneo of Montevideo.

July 28th: He takes part in the 52nd exhibition of the TTG, "Painting and Constructive Art" at the Ateneo of Montevideo.

November 8th:
He takes part in the 53rd exhibition of the TTG at the Ateneo in Montevideo.


1951
March 20th: He takes part in the 54th exhibition of the TTG, at the Liga de Fomento de Punta del Este.

August: He takes part in the 55th exhibition of the TTG, at the University of Chile, in Santiago de Chile.

October 2nd: He takes part in the 56th exhibition of the TTG, at Amigos del Arte, in Montevideo.

December: Gurvich takes Alpuy's place (Alpuy is travelling to the Far East and Europe with Gonzalo Fonseca), as a teacher of the TTG, until Alpuy's return in 1953. He moves to Fonseca's room-workshop near the port, in 25 de Agosto Street, while Fonseca is away on a trip. He works there intensely until 1954, when he travels to Europe and Israel.


1952
June 30th: The TTG publishes a limited edition of 400 books with thirty reproductions of constructive drawings.

August 19th: He takes part in the 59th exhibition of the TTG, at the Ateneo in Montevideo.

September 7th: Performance in aid of the TTG, at the Cine Central in Montevideo.
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November 22nd: He takes part in the 61st exhibition of the TTG, at the Club Tacuarembó and the Club Municipal de Arte y Cultura in Montevideo.

November: He takes part in the 62nd exhibition of the TTG at the Ateneo de Montevideo. He paints a mural (which has since been destroyed) at the El Temerario bar, in the Old City (Ciudad Vieja), together with Fonseca and Alpuy.


1953
March: He begins to take part in the illustrations for the programs of the Cine Club, jointly with other members of the TTG, continuing until 1957. He also does the scenography for different theatres: Teatro del Pueblo, Club del Teatro, El Galpón, El Tinglado, La Màscara, (Los intereses creados, Minnie la Càndida), as well as for the Hashomer Hatzair of Montevideo and for the Sodre ballet. In this way he forms a link with the world of theatres and cinema. He forms, together with other painters, writers and journalists, a group called "Artes y Letras", whose aim is to carry out a study trip to Europe. .

October 20th: He takes part in the 66th and 67th exhibition of the TTG, at the Ateneo of Montevideo.


1954
He travels to Europe with Manuel Aguiar and Antonio Pezzino. In Europe he meets up with other members of the TTG, such as Horacio Torres, visiting museums in Spain, France and Italy. In Madrid he meets up with Latin American artists and becomes friendly with the critic Moreno Galvàn.


1955
June 1st: He holds an exhibition at the San Marcos gallery in Rome. He is invited by the Ramot Menasche kibbutz (where his sister is living) to paint a mural for the communal dining room. He settles in the kibbutz and joins its every day life. It is here that he will re-vitalize the world of his ancestor's religious traditions (with which his mother had kept him in contact) and he will also become immersed, as a protagonist of constructive zeal, of that ecclosion which was the birth of the Jewish State. His work at the kibbutz was that of a shepherd (which in Hebrew is Roe or "he who looks"). He paints the world and the reality which surround him.


1956
April 19th: He holds an exhibition at the Katz gallery in Tel Aviv. He returns to Europe, and in Spain he studies the Spanish masters Goya and Velàzquez; but is fascinated by El Bosco and Pieter Brueghel.

June: He takes part in the 99th exhibition of the TTG, at the Ministerio de Instrucción Pública y Previsión Social, at the Salón Nacional de Bellas Artes of Montevideo.

August 28th: He takes part in the 100th exhibition of the TTG in the Municipal Underground of Montevideo.

December 21st: He takes part in the "Jonge Schilders uit Uruguay" exhibition, in the Stedelijk Museum of Amsterdam (well received by the Dutch press). In December he returns to Montevideo and to his parents, continuing his life in the TTG and giving painting lessons.


1957
Gurvich replaces Julio Alpuy (who is moving to Colombia) as professor at the TTG. Among those studying during his period of teaching at TTG are: Pepe Montes, Guillermo Fernàndez, Yuyo Goitiño, Sara Capurro and Eva Díaz Yepes. He moves into Fonseca's house, in the Cerro, on Polonia street 3166, when Fonseca leaves Uruguay.

December 26th: He takes part in the 109th exhibition of the TTG, at the Ateneo of Montevideo.


1958
September: Individual exhibition in the Arte Bella gallery, in Montevideo.

October: The TTG publishes the first issue of the magazine Escuela del Sur.


1959
He organizes the exhibition "Amigos del Arte" in Montevideo. The TTG publishes the second issue of the magazine Escuela del Sur.


1960
February: He takes part in the exhibition of the TTG, at the Comisión Nacional de Bellas Artes, in Punta del Este.

March:
He takes part in the 125th exhibition of the TTG, at the Comisión Municipal de Cultura and the Laurenzo gallery, in Paysandú.

August 18th: He marries Julia Helena Añorga.

December 1st
: He takes part in the 136th exhibition of the TTG, at the Americana gallery in Montevideo.

December 12th: He takes part in the exhibition "The New School presents: The Torres-García Workshop", at the New School Arts Center, in New York. He is invited by the University of Chile to take part in the exhibition "Arte y Espacio" (Art and Space), in Santiago.


1961
January: The TTG publishes the third and last issue of the magazine Escuela del Sur (with a reproduction of a work on wood by Gurvich on the cover).

July: He takes part in the 143rd exhibition of the TTG, at the Comisión Nacional de Bellas Artes in Montevideo.

August: He takes part in the exhibition "Premio Blanes", organized by the Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay, in Montevideo.

December: He takes part in the exhibition organized at the Amsterdam Museum, which travels to Baden-Baden, to the Staalich Kunsthalle.


1962
He paints various murals: one for the Caja de Pensiones del Frigorífico del Cerro, at the request of the arquitect Vaia (this mural, which has a length of 17 metres, has been restored by Mr. Barra, with materials provided by Mrs. Gurvich and the engineer Eduardo Irisarri; at present it is in perfect condition and there is talk of it being exhibited in the passage between the Palacio Legislativo and the annex); another one at Malhos' house in Punta del Este; another one in the Reims building on Sarmiento street (designed by the architect Luis San Vicente), auctioned at Castells and Castells on the 11th June 1997. He takes part in the exhibition "Salón de Arte", organized by General Electric of Montevideo.

April:
The closing of the TTG is announced in an article published by El País, of Montevideo.

December:
His mother travels to Israel to visit her daughter and stays.


1963
January 25th: His son, Martín José is born.

July 28th:
He takes part in the exhibition "Homage to Torres García".

October:
His father emigrates to Israel, to live in the Ramot Menasche kibbutz together with his wife and daughter.

José Gurvich moves to his house in the Cerro, transformed into living quarters and two workshops, one for ceramics and the other one for painting, located a few metres away from his old house on Polonia street. Many young artists come here for lessons with the artist, the Taller Montevideo is born. Among these artists we mention: Eva Olivetti, Celeste Núñez, Blanca Minelli, Gloria Franchi, Clara Scremini, Dorita Mandirola, Linda Kohen, Lilian Lipschitz, Adolfo Nigro, Ernesto Vila, Ernesto Drangosh, Rafael Lorente, Gorki Bollar, Héctor Vilche, Armando Bergalo, etc.


1964
May: He takes part in the exhibition organized by the Comisión Nacional de Bellas Artes. He travels a second time to Europe and Israel, this time with his wife and son. In Europe they visit France (Le Havre, Paris, Marseille) and then move on to Israel. They all live at the Ramot Menasche kibbutz, where Gurvich paints and works as a shepherd.


1965
May 1st: He holds his second exhibition at the Katz gallery in Tel Aviv. He travels to Greece where he stays for three months. Later on he visits Rome and Naples. At the end of that year he returns to Montevideo.


1966
October 28th: He takes part in the exhibition "Nuevo Arte del Uruguay", organized by the Uruguayan-American School of Montevideo.


1967
May: He holds an individual exhibition at the Comisión Nacional de Bellas Artes, with over 200 works (paintings, drawings, and ceramics). This exhibition is well received by the public and the press. He takes part in the exhibition "One Hundred Years of Uruguayan Painting" at the Corcoran Gallery in Washington DC.


1968
He holds an individual exhibition at the Embassy of the United States of America, in Montevideo. He takes part in a joint exhibition organized by the Comisión Nacional de Artes Plàsticas.


1969
April 24th: He takes part in the "Exhibition-Homage to J. Torres García", organized by the Departamento Cultural del Banco La Caja Obrera, in Montevideo.

November 22nd:
He travels a third time to Europe and Israel with his family (visiting Spain —Madrid, Barcelona—, France, Greece and Israel).

December: He takes part in the exhibition "Homenaje de la ciudad de Montevideo al maestro Joaquín Torres García" (Homage of the city of Montevideo to the artist Joaquín Torres- García), in the Salón de Exposiciones de la Intendencia Municipal in Montevideo.


1970
April 4th: Gurvich's father, Jacobo Gurvich dies of a heart attack in his son's arms on the way to the hospital. .

May: He takes part in the exhibition "Universalismo Constructivo" (Constructive Universalism), organized by the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires .

July 18th: He carries out his third exhibition at the Katz gallery in Tel Aviv, with great success.

September 18th:
He arrives in New York, where he stays a few months with relatives of Lithuanian origin (survivors of concentration camps). Some time later, he joins the group of artists from the TTG and Latin Americans who live in New York, among whom we mention: Julio Alpuy, Gonzalo Fonseca, Horacio Torres, Marcelo Bonevardi, Abularach, Elba Damast, etc. He works there in a small workshop, in the basement of the apartment where he lives with his wife and son.


1971
He takes part in joint exhibitions: "Select Works from Latin America", at the New York Greenwich Library, at the Couturier Gallery of Stanford, Connecticut.


1972
He takes part in joint exhibitions: "Feria de la Opinión Latinoamericana", at the San Clemente Church of New York, at the Iramar Gallery of the University of Columbia, New York.

June: He holds an exhibition at the Galería Lerner-Misrachi of New York, favourably received by the public and the press. He takes part in the Tercera Bienal de Coltejer in Medellín, Colombia.

December 24th: His mother Jaie dies, after a long illness.


1973
He is invited by the Jewish Museum of New York to hold a retrospective show.


1974
February 2nd: He takes part in the exhibition "Sculpture by Painters", at the Humanist Center of New York.

April 27th: He takes part in the exhibition "Masters of Today and Tomorrow", at the Temple Israel, of Great Neck, New York.

June 24th:
On a grey and stormy evening, his life is suddenly extinguished, at the age of 47, due to a coronary occlusion. He still has so many things going on, so many strings attached, so many pictures unfinished. Curiously, his life is extinguished while he was painting a Jewish feast, Sucot or the Harvest. Significant, don't you think so?