Carlos María Rothfuss was born in Montevideo, in 1920. In 1938 he entered the Círculo de Bellas Artes (Circle of Fine Arts), where he studied with professors Guillermo Laborde and José Cúneo. In the early 40s he studied in the Academia de Bellas Artes (Academy of Fine Arts) of his native city, where he met Carmelo Arden Quin in an Emilio Pettoruti’s exhibition in 1939.
Later, he settled in Buenos Aires where he met Gyula Kosice and Tomás Maldonado. In 1944 he integrated the editing group for Arturo magazine, where he published his article El marco. un problema de la plástica actual (The frame: A Problem of Plastic Arts Today). He participated in the exhibitions hosted by Enrique Pichon Rivière at his house in October, 1945, and by Grete Stern at her house, in December, the same year.
In 1946 he founded the Madí Movement together with Arden Quin, Gyula Kosice, and Diyi Laañ, among others. With this group he participated in the First MADÍ Exhibition at the Van Riel Gallery (1946), where the Manifesto was made known, paintings and sculptures, architectonic scale-models were exhibited, and poems, music auditions and dance shows were performed. In 1946 he also took part in the Second and the Third MADI Exhibitions, hosted by the Escuela Libre de Artes Plásticas Altamira (Free School of Plastic Arts Altamira), and the Bohemien Club of Buenos Aires respectively, and in the First International Madi Exhibition, organized in the AIAPE (Intellectuals, Artists, Journalists and Writers Association) of Montevideo, in December the same year. In 1948 he was part of the Argentinean representation to the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris.
Between 1945 and 1950 he created abstract sculptures with some practicable components, and used rhombuses and irregular geometric figures in his paintings. He studied the displacement produced in perception by adjacent polygons, subject to his article Un aspecto de la superposición (An Aspect of Superposition), published in Madí magazine, 2nd issue, in 1948.
In Montevideo he took part in the Non-figurative Art exhibition, performed at the College of Architecture of the University (1952), which dedicated a room to Madí art. Soon after he exhibited his works in the Young Men Christian Association (September, 1952), and in Nineteen Artists of Today, at the Municipal Underground (1955).
He died in Montevideo, on December 31, 1969.