Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899-1991) was one of the most significant Mexican artists of the twentieth century. Largely self-taught, Tamayo combined influences of European modernist painting with motifs drawn from Mexican folk art and culture. Unlike his contemporaries Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Sisqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco, who were known for their large-scale politically-oriented murals, Tamayo’s work favored individual expression and universal themes, explored through painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Tamayo’s works were exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1950, and he was the subject of major retrospectives at the São Paulo Biennial in 1977 and the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1979.
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