b. 1899
- d. 1991
  • Mexico
Turnover 2023
$USD 5.868.675
Record Sale
$USD 7.209.000

Rufino Tamayo’s artistic odyssey commenced in the midst of the Mexican Revolution, a time profoundly influenced by the cultural and social tumult of his era. In contrast to some of his contemporaries, Tamayo departed from the prevailing muralist movement, opting for a more personal and cosmopolitan artistic direction.

Tamayo’s body of work is characterized by a harmonious fusion of indigenous Mexican artistic traditions, European modernism, and his own unique vision. His bold utilization of color and intricately textured surfaces infused his creations with innate vibrancy. His subjects often delved into universal themes such as humanity, nature, and the human condition. Within his paintings, sculptures, and prints, Tamayo ventured beyond mere representation, employing form and color to evoke emotional and intellectual responses.

A pivotal juncture in his career was his tenure as a muralist at the National Preparatory School in Mexico City. During this period, he embarked on a journey of self-discovery, experimenting with innovative techniques to define his own artistic identity. In the 1920s, his relocation to New York City exposed him to a broader artistic milieu, and he exhibited alongside luminaries like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. This encounter with abstract expressionism enriched his creative vocabulary, giving rise to his signature style characterized by abstracted figures, harmonious compositions, and a masterful equilibrium between tradition and innovation.

Throughout his career, Tamayo’s profound connection with his Mexican heritage remained unwavering, evident in his depictions of Pre-Columbian symbols and forms. He championed the global significance of Mexican culture, celebrating its traditions while engaging with the currents of modernity. His exploration of the human figure and its relationship with the environment unveiled a profound sensitivity to the interplay between the natural and the cultural.


Record Sale

Rufino TAMAYO (1899-1991)
Trovador (1945)

153.4 x 127 cm
Signed dated ‘Tamayo, O-45’ lower right
Illustrated on page 45 of the catalog

New York NY, United States
Latin American Sale, 28 may 2008

Lot # 18
Hammer price: $ 6,400,000
Price including buyer’s premium: $ 7,209,000
Estimate: $ 2,000,000 – $ 3,000,000

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