Rufino Tamayo (Mexican)
Born 1899 - Died 1991
Rufino Tamayo was a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. He was born in Oaxaca, Mexico, and moved to Mexico City. In his early years, he worked in the family business but developed a passion for art after his aunt enrolled him in art classes. Tamayo began studying art at Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas in San Carlos in 1917. During his time there, he was influenced by Impressionism, Cubism, and Fauvism. Due to dissatisfaction with his studies, Tamayo left school and went to work at the Department of Ethnographic Drawings in 1921. He was eventually promoted to the head of his department.
Tamayo’s artwork frequently profiles images associated with the Zapotec heritage. One of his most notable paintings, Children Playing With Fire, was painted in 1947 during the time of Mexican revolt. This piece shows two people being burned by a fire they created, symbolizing the people of Mexico being hurt by their own decisions. Between the years of 1925 and 1991, Tamayo produced a number of graphic art pieces that consisted of etchings, lithographs, woodcuts, and Mixografia prints. Mixografia was the name given to an art technique created by Tamayo and a fellow Mexican painter that combined prints with three-dimensional textures. Throughout his career, he also became known for painting murals and images of women.
In 1981, the Tamayo Contemporary Art Museum opened in Mexico City. Tamayo’s work has been exhibited worldwide in museums including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Naples Museum of Art in Naples, FL, The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid, Spain, and the Phillips Collection in Washington. The artist died in Mexico City on June 24, 1991.
Dos Personajes, 1980
Oil on canvas, 35 x 51 inches, price upon request
El Hombre de Los Globos, 1964
Oil on canvas, price upon request
Frutero Con Manzanas, 1981
Mixograph, ed. 100, 40 x 29 inches, price upon request
Cabeza Sobre Fond Verde, 1979
Mixograph, 56 x 76 cm, price upon request
Head with Pink Nose, 1970
Oil, sand and marble dust on canvas, 12 x 10 inches, SOLD