Rufino Tamayo, a Mexican artist of Zapotec descent, combined European painting styles and Mexican folk motifs in his paintings and prints. He is widely accepted today as one of the most important artists in Mexican art history.
This exhibition at Hecho a Mano consists of lithographs, etchings and Mixografia created between 1959 and 1980.
Tamayo admired the works of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Henri Matisse and developed a strong interest in pre-Columbian art while working at the National Museum of Archaeology in Mexico City. He reacted against the political overtones of the Mexican muralists Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco; instead, he was concerned with form and symbolism, and combining Mexican styles with Cubism and Surrealism. Due to this choice, he was seen by some as a "traitor" to the political cause, and he felt he could not freely express his art, so in 1926, he decided to leave Mexico and move to New York.
“Art is a means of expression that must be understood by everybody, everywhere,” he stated. “It grows out of the earth, the textures of our lives, and our experience.”
Eventually returning to Mexico in 1959, he founded the Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City and the Museo Rufino Tamayo in his birthplace of Oaxaca during the early 1980s. The artist continued to produce some of his most compelling works right up until his death on June 24, 1991 in Mexico City, Mexico at the age of 91. Today, in addition to many important public and private collections, his works are held in the The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Tate London.