Rufino Tamayo was a Mexican painter and printmaker known for his large-scale murals and vivid use of color. Rufino Tamayo, in full Rufino Arellanes Tamayo, (born August 26, 1899, Oaxaca, Mexico—died June 24, 1991, Mexico City), Mexican painter who combined modern European painting styles with Mexican folk themes.. Tamayo attended the School of Fine Arts in Mexico City from 1917 to 1921, but he was dissatisfied with the traditional art program and thereafter studied independently. He amassed more than 1,300 Mesoamerican works, which now belong to the Museo de Arte Prehispánico de México Rufino Tamayo in Oaxaca. The exhibition features five comparable objects from LACMA’s collection, demonstrating the artist’s fascination with this material throughout his long career.

Rufino Tamayo, along with other muralists such as Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros, represented the twentieth century in their native country of Mexico. Rufino Tamayo, a Mexican artist of Zapotecan Indian descent, combined European painting styles and Mexican folk motifs in his paintings and prints.

Tamayo actively collected art from the ancient Americas. After the Mexican Revolution, Tamayo devoted himself to creating a distinct identity in his work. He expressed what he envisioned as the traditional Mexico and eschewed the overt political art of such contemporaries as Rufino Tamayo, along with other muralists such as Rivera, Orozco, and Siqueiros, represented the twentieth century in their native country of Mexico. Tamayo, admired the works of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Henri Matisse, developed a strong interest in pre-Columbian art while working at the National Museum of Archaeology in Mexico City.



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