Rufino Tamayo

Mexican, born Oaxaca, Mexico 1899-died Mexico City, Mexico 1991, active USA 1935-ca.1953
Media - J0048185_1b.jpg - 89705
Rufino Tamayo, © Peter A. Juley & Son Collection, Smithsonian American Art Museum J0048185
Oaxaca, Mexico
Mexico City, Mexico
Active in
  • New York, New York, United States
  • Mexican

Mexican painter and muralist, who was influenced by the European modernism of Henri Matisse, Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso as well as pre-Columbian art and Mexican folk art. He rejected the dogma of the muralist explosion after the Mexican Revolution in favor of an exploration of modernist styles, waiting until 1933 to paint his first mural.

Joan Stahl American Artists in Photographic Portraits from the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (Washington, D.C. and Mineola, New York: National Museum of American Art and Dover Publications, Inc., 1995)


This is a Tamayo painting of a New York City skyline and a person looking at it through a telescope.
Tamayo: The New York Years
November 2, 2017March 17, 2018
Tamayo: The New York Years is the first exhibition to explore the influences between this major Mexican modernist and the American art world.

Related Books

This is the cover of the "Tamayo: The New York Years" book displaying Rufino Tamayo's Carnival painting.
Tamayo: The New York Years
Tamayo: The New York Years explores the influences between Rufino Tamayo (1899–1991), a major Mexican modernist best known for his boldly colored, semiabstract paintings, and the American art world. It reveals how he forged a new path in the modern art of the Americas and contributed to New York’s dynamic cultural scene as the city was becoming a center of postwar art.