Rufino Tamayo was born on August 26, 1899, in Oaxaca, Mexico. He attended the School of Fine Arts of San Carlos in 1915; he left after a year to started teaching himself about popular art models. In 1921, became head of the Ethnographic Drawing Department of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, this fact was be decisive in his awareness of the sources of Mexican art. The first exhibition of Tamayo’s work was presented in the United States at the Wyhe Gallery in New York in 1926.

In 1928 taught at the National School of Fine Arts and in 1932 was appointed Director of the Department of Plastic Arts of the Ministry of Public Education.

He moved to New York in 1936 and during the thirties and forties, the Valentine Gallery dedicated several exhibitions to him. He lived there for almost 20 years, which was decisive for the painter’s artistic process.

Tamayo installed Sala Tamayo at the Venice Biennale in 1950, and the success of his work there led to international recognition. He won the Biennale de Sao Paulo prize along with the Frenchman Alfred Mannesier. As of this decade, he began to get orders and a prolific artistic production is appreciated.

He was been honored with many prestigious awards; the National Prize for Science and Arts; named Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Manila, the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico, the University of Berkeley, the University of South California and the Universidad Veracruzana; as well as Knight of the Legion of Honor of France. Also, received the Grand Prize of Painting of the II Bienniale of Sao Paulo, was named commander of the Italian Republic, Favorite Son of the Government of Oaxaca and obtained the Gold Medal of Merit of Fine Arts by King Juan Carlos of Spain, the Senado de la República Mexicana did the same with the Belisario Domínguez Medal and was elected an honorary member of the Colegio Nacional, among other distinctions.

In 1948 Tamayo’s first major retrospective was done at the Instituto de Bellas Artes. His work has been presented at international exhibitions, both individual and collective. In 1977 during the Sao Paulo Biennial, a large exhibition was held and 2 years later at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. He settled in Paris for several years, returning to Mexico City in 1964, where he resided permanently until the day of his death, on June 24, 1991, at the age of 91.

KEY FACTS
• Rufino Tamayo painted more than 1,300 oil paintings, including 20 portraits of his wife Olga, with whom he was married for more than 57 years.
• Made 465 graphic works such as lithographs and mixografías, 350 drawings, 20 murals, as well as one stained glass window.
• His murals can be found in the Palacio de Bellas Artes, the Museo Nacional de Antropología and the Conservatorio Nacional de Música in Mexico City, as well as in the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Library of the University of Puerto Rico and the headquarters of the UNESCO, in Paris.
• Along with Luis Remba, he created mixograph print, a graphic technique artwork printed on paper, but with depth and texture. One of their most famous mixograph print was titled Dos personajes atacados por perros [“Two Characters Attacked by Dogs”], which is part of this exhibition.
• His works are held in international collections such as Museum of Modern Art, Museo Tamayo, MOMA, Guggenheim, the Philips Collection, among others.

RECENT EXHIBITS ABROAD
2017 Latin American Masters, Santa Monica, 30th Anniversary Exhibition.
2017 Zane Bennet Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, Rufino Tamayo.
2017 Zane Bennet Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, Sojourn.
2016 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950.
2016 Gallery Shchukin, New York. Famous Prints of the 20th Century.
2016 Mixography, Athens, Georgia. Paper in Profile: Mixografía and Taller de Grafíca Mexicana.
2016 Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, MOLAA. Art Twenty: 1996-2016.
2016 Latin American Masters, Santa Monica, Rufino Tamayo: Graphics.
2015 Zane Bennet Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, Master Prints of the ‘70s-’90s. 2014 Zane Bennet Contemporary Art, Santa Fe, View / Review: Contemporary Masters.
2014 Ruiz-Healy Art, San Antonio. Paper, Pencil & Ink: Prints & Other Works on Paper.

© MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO DE MONTERREY, 2016 | Zuazua y Jardón S/N, Centro. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico, 64000 | Ph. +52 (81) 8262.4500

Follow us