Rufino Tamayo

Rufino Tamayo – one of Mexico’s greatest painter.

Born in Oaxaca – a birthplace for many of Mexico’s greatest artists, many self taught, Tamayo faced the same issue that other artists had to confront early on in their careers – going abroad to have their talent recognized and appreciated.

For Tamayo it meant a move to New York.

In New York he hit his stride – painting figurative abstractions with surrealist influences.

In 1929 he returned to Mexico – a solo show of his met with critical acclaim and strong media coverage.

Tamayo’s career started when he moved as an orphan to live with his aunt in Mexico City .

His aunt sent him to commercial school, eventually leading to him taking drawing lessons and by 1917 he started studying art full time.

He began experimenting with several art styles – Cubism, Fauvism, Impressionism – as a student.

But as an artist he never achieved recognition in Mexico, hence his move to New York.

While in New York Tamayo had several shows in various New York galleries – while teaching art at the Dalton School.

In 1957 he moved from New York to Paris – garnering a commissioned mural for the city’s UNESCO building.

Seven years later – 1964 – he moved back permanently to Mexico City.

From then on the art world began recognizing him as an important international artist – numerous public and private art shows throughout the world were the hallmark of his career.

Today Tamayo is one of the world’s top artists, even in Mexico, where artists are finally recognized on their own merits instead of first gaining recognition outside of Mexico.