Hombre y Mujer
Hombre y Mujer, 1925, Woodcut
Rufino Tamayo (Mexican, 1899 – 1991)
Rufino Tamayo sets an indigenous Mexican couple against a mountainous landscape with agave plants in Hombre y Mujer (Indios con Maguey), 1925. Over the course of his career, Tamayo worked in an array of printmaking media. Here, using woodcut, he uses the roughness of the medium to reflect the ruggedness of the landscape and its inhabitants. Tamayo’s own Zapotec heritage was figural in his early works, and his respect for these native subjects is tangible.
Tamayo was actively engaged in the artistic communities of Mexico City and New York during the mid-20th century. His political opposition to the Mexican Revolution placed him at odds with revolutionary artistic figures such as José Clemente Orozco. In Mexico, Tamayo’s name is associated with two prominent art institutions, the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Pre-Hispanic Art in Oaxaca and the Rufino Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico City.