Rufino Tamayo in Mérida

Every fall, Merida hosts a special event several weeks in length. Called “Otoño Cultural” its popularity grows each year. Symphony, theater, dance, painting, sculpture and other forms of artistic expression are celebrated.

Last night, Jorge and I attended the opening of a Rufino Tamayo exhibition at El Olimpo Cultural Center. We enjoyed it immensely. If you have not seen this artists’ work, be sure to visit the Olimpo and get acquainted…

Rufino Tamayo was a Mexican painter of Zapotec heritage, born in Oaxaca on August 26, 1899

His early years are often said to be an early influence in his work. He attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas in 1917 and experimented with Cubism, Impressionism, Fauvism and other current  art movements of the time, yet his paintings always had a very unique “Mexican” stamp.

After the Mexican Revolution, through his painting, Tamayo devoted himself to creating what he believed was the traditional Mexico,

Tamayo and Luis Remba were the first artists who created a new type of printed artwork called “mixografía”. Mixografía is artwork printed on paper, but with depth and texture

In 1948 his first major retrospective was held at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, and while the paintings were hardly conventional, the exhibition was popular. To get away from political differences and controversy, Tamayo and his wife Olga went to live Paris in 1949, where he felt fully embraced. He stayed in Europe for 10 yearsyears.

Returning  to Mexico permanently in 1959, Tamayo and his wife built an art museum built an art museum in Oaxaca,

Tamayo painted his last painting in 1989, at the age of 90

The Nobel peace prize winner, Octavio Paz, said of Rufino Tamayo:

“If I could express with a single word what it is that distinguishes Tamayo from other painters, I would say without a moment’s hesitation: Sun. For the sun is in all his pictures, whether we see it or not.” –   

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