Rufino Tamayo


From the Dennis L. and Patricia A. Miller Collection

Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) was one of the first Latin American painters to receive international recognition. He was influenced by modern art, by pre-Colombian imagery, and by his Zapotec heritage to create a highly individualistic body of work that includes prints, paintings, and sculptures. Unlike many of his contemporaries, such as Diego Rivera—who created murals with themes of social reform—Tamayo viewed subject matter as subordinate to color and form. Early in his career, he lived in New York City where he was influenced by the work of modern artists like Pablo Picasso and Stuart Davis. Tamayo’s work is  distinguished by its mythical quality, astute use of color, abstracted figures, Surrealist imagery, and bold compositions.

Tamayo completed his prints utilizing numerous techniques, including lithography, etching, aquatint, and the Mixografia process—which he helped develop. Mixografia involves pressing a sheet of damp paper pulp onto an inked metal plate which has  raised areas of design. As the inked plate and the pulp are compressed together, the water is squeezed out and the pulp is  molded to the surface. The prints have sculptural qualities that enhance the rich color embedded into the paper.

This grouping of seven prints is an outstanding representation of Tamayo’s large graphic works. It was gifted to the Figge as a bequest from Dennis L. and Patricia A. Miller, who were well-known supporters of Quad City Arts, Ballet Quad Cities, and many other organizations.

On view July 7-December 30, 2018


Sponsored by: 
Joseph and Carolyn Martin
Charles and Deborah Cassel
Peter and Merriam Rink
Ralph and Marcia Congdon
Robert and Karlen Fellows
William and Deborah Irey
Matthew and Tracy Lindaman
William and Kay Whitmore
Bernadette Murphy
Richard and Annette Ripperger


Companion Event
Thursday, August 9
6:30 p.m. Scholar Talk


image: Rufino Tamayo, Niña, 1981, Mixografia on handmade paper, 39 1/2  30 inches, Gift of Dennis L. and Patricia A. Miller, 2017.21.6,
© Tamayo Heirs/Mexico/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY