Rufino del Carmen Arellanes TAMAYO
By the mid twentieth century the native Zapotec artist Rufino del Carmen Arellanes Tamayo, was properly acknowledged as one of Mexico's leading artists.
During his studies at Escuela National de Artes Plastics he absorbed Mexican versions of Cubism, Impressionism and Fauvism. The artist's love of pre-Columbian ceramics stemmed from his work with Jose Vasconcelos and Tamayo's chairing the Department of Ethnographic Drawings (1921-1926). But he moved to New York City in 1926, largely as a rejection of the revolutionary politics of the muralists.
After completing his studies and teaching in Mexico City he lived in New York (1936-1950), and Paris (1957-1964) where he was influenced by Picasso, Matisse, Ingres and other European artists. He then returned to Mexico to live and work (1964-1991).
Although a skilled painter and sometime sculptor, Tamayo's legacy rests with his more than six decades of printmaking including woodcuts, lithographs, etchings and mixografia prints. The strong appreciation that Tamayo's work received outside of Mexico resulted in a new respect for it in Mexico.
In 1981 the artist's collection of European masters formed the foundation of a museum named for him in Mexico City and his gift of his pre-Columbian collection to the city of Oaxaca inspired Francisco Toledo and others to make that city an important art and printmaking center.