AUGUST 25, 1899

MEXICAN ZAPOTEC ABSTRACT PAINTER RUFINO TAMAYO BORN

Born in Oaxaca, Mexico, of Zapotec heritage, Tamayo entered Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1917.   His first show, in New York (1926), was a success.  His solo show at Galería de Arte Moderno in Mexico (1929) also drew crowds.  From 1937 to 1959, he and wife Olga lived in New York and Paris before returning to Mexico.  His 1st major retrospective was at Mexico’s Palacio de Bellas Artes (1949).  Noted works include Niña Atacada por un Pajaro Extrano (1947), El Atormentado (1949), and La Perla (1950).  Honors include the National Prize for Arts and Sciences in Fine Arts, Mexico (1964); Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts, Spain (1985); Medal of Honor, Mexican Senate ( 1988); Grand Officer, Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (1989), and Honorary member, National College of Mexico (1991).  The Smithsonian Art Museum held a retrospective of his work, Tamayo: The New York Years (2017-2018).  He died June 14, 1991, in Mexico City.

Source:  Carlos Suarez De Jesus, "Mexican Master," The Miami New Times, 7/5/2007.  Retrieved 7/11/2019, https://www.miaminewtimes.com/arts/mexican-master-6334005
Photo:  Carl Van Vechten (1880-1964), 1945.  Library of Congress Collection.  Public domain in U.S.:  Library of Congress.  No known copyright.  Restrictions expired 1986.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 70 years or less.

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