Rufino Tamayo - Latin America New York Saturday, October 3, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired from the artist; Mr. and Mrs. Manuel Reyero, Mexico City; Bernard Lewin Galleries, Beverly Hills

  • Exhibited

    New York, Mary-Anne Martin Fine Art, Rufino Tamayo Paintings 1937-1977, November 26, 1983 - January 31, 1984, n.n.; Berlin, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Rufino Tamayo 1990, May 2 - June 10, 1990, p. 312, no. 121; Nagoya, Nagoya City Art Museum; Kamakura, Museum of Modern Art; Kyoto, National Museum of Modern Art, Rufino Tamayo Retrospectiva, October 9, 1993 - March 21, 1994, p. 138, no. 69, illustrated in color p. 94.

  • Literature

    R. Tamayo, Addendum, Beverly Hills, p. 55, no. 54 (illustrated); Staatliche Kunsthalle, ed., Rufino Tamayo 1990, Berlin, 1990, p. 312 (illustrated); National Museum of Modern Art, ed., Rufino Tamayo Retrospectiva, Kyoto, 1993, p. 138, no. 69 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    “Tamayo openly and freely melded modernist concepts and practices from Mexico, Europe, and the United States: his fusion modernism forged links between the Mexican School, the New York School, and European fi gure painting of the 1940s and 1950s… Tamayo was committed to the human experience as the primary subject of art, while remaining dedicated to the modernist ethos of formal experimentation.”
    D. C. du Pont, Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted, Miami, 2007
    Born of Zapotec decent in Oaxaca, Mexico in 1899, Rufi no Tamayo is considered one of the most important Mexican painters of the twentieth century. Heavily infl uenced by both Cubism and Fauvism in his art, Tamayo also integrated anthropological themes distinctive of his Mesoamerican cultural identity.Tamayo was an outsider in post Revolutionary Mexico. Politically neutral and opposing his Mexican contemporaries’ commitment to public art, evidenced in the murals of Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros, Tamayo preferred to keep his artwork unrelated and separate from the tumultuous political climate. The subjects of his artwork tended more towards everyday domesticity and humanity, as seen through his still lifes, figurative works and interior scenes.In Mujer en un interior, Tamayo skillfully depicts a nude female fi gure in a Pre-Columbian style standing amidst an abstract and minimalist interior. Her torso faces the viewer while her face and legs are at a profi le— nod to Tamayo’s Pre-Columbian stylistic sensibilities. Framed by the doorway, the lone fi gure is twisted, hand reaching for what appears to be a door knob. An alarm clock sits on a pedestal in the back corner of the room taking time further dramatizing the tension of the scene. Overall, the use of a dark color palate, the strong lines delineating the interior architecture of the room and the abstract female figure bring focus to the enigmatic narrative of the painting.
    Mujer en un interior is a quintessential example of Tamayo’s paintings. The artist harmoniously and elegantly marries minimalism and abstraction with Pre-Columbian forms creating a characteristic style that is distinctively his. Drawing on Mexican folk art and ceramics for their forms, rich use of color and texture and themes, Tamayo brings these historical tendencies to contemporary relevance by also incorporating sophisticated compositions more closely indebted to Cubism.

  • Artist Biography

    Rufino Tamayo

    Mexican • 1899 - 1991

    Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, Rufino Tamayo was an incredibly prolific artist working until his death at the age of 91. Half-European and half-Zapotec Indian, Tamayo produced work that was defined by his mestizo, or mixed-blood, heritage. Through his studies, Tamayo was exposed to every artistic school of his time including Fauvism, the classical French school, Cubism and Abstract Expressionism, all of which contributed to his style as it developed throughout his life.

    Tamayo reacted strongly against the Mexican muralists who dominated the art scene during his coming of age. Instead, his work is firmly grounded in realism while taking creative liberties in color and composition. His art emulates a unique blend of Cubism and Surrealism, joined with a deep understanding of Mexican culture.

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Mujer en un interior

Oil and sand on canvas.
51 x 38 in. (129.5 x 96.5 cm).
Signed and dated "Tamayo 0-77" upper right and titled and dated on the reverse.

$400,000 - 500,000 

Latin America

3 Oct 2009
New York