Rufino Tamayo

Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991)

was an important Mexican born painter, printmaker, muralist and sculptor who later lived in New York City for many years and then in Paris 1957-64. Tamayo studied fine art in Mexico City 1917-21 following which he became departmental head of Ethnographic Drawing at the National Museum of Archaeology in Mexico City 1921-26. Thereafter he settled in New York City and became influenced by European artists including Picasso and Braque. In 1948, Tamayo’s first major retrospective was held at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. He later exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1950 which brought his work to international attention. In the 1960s he returned to Mexico and later donated his personal collection of Pre-Columbian art to the city of Oaxaca, where he had been born, and his collection of international art to what became the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico City. He died in Mexico City. A major exhibition ‘Tamayo: The New York Years’ was held at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from November 2017 to March 2018.

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