Rufino Tamayo


Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991, Mexico) masterfully united elements of European modernism, Mexican folk art and pre-Columbian ceramics in his bold paintings and prints. The artist’s emotive color palettes and blocky, pared-down compositions recall both indigenous motifs and Cubist figuration.


Tamayo studied at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas “San Carlos” in Mexico City before joining the department of ethnographic drawing at the city’s Museo Nacional de Arqueología. There, he immersed himself in the collection of pre-Columbian art. During his lifetime, Tamayo exhibited widely in Mexico City, New York and Paris, among other cities. His works regularly sell for seven figures on the secondary market and belong in the collections of the Tate (London), Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco), Guggenheim (New York) and Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington D.C.)