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    Sale 1907

    Latin American Sale Evening Session

    19 - 20 November 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 29

    Rufino Tamayo (Mexican 1899-1991)

    Bañistas

    Price Realised  

    Rufino Tamayo (Mexican 1899-1991)
    Bañistas
    signed and dated 'Tamayo 30' (upper left)
    oil on canvas
    37½ x 28¾ in. (80.5 x 70.5 cm.)
    Painted in 1930


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    Rufino Tamayo first arrived in New York in the autumn of 1926, and stayed two years before returning to Mexico for health reasons. During those years, the artist religiously visited New York City's museums and became fascinated with the work of international avant-garde artists, selectively assimilating everything he had an affinity with. When he returned to Mexico, filled with new experiences and a variety of iconographic and technical resources, he had a one-man show. The show opened on October 20, 1929 at the Modern Art Gallery, which was housed in the foyer of the National Theater, known nowadays as Palacio de Bellas Artes. In that exhibition, Tamayo showed off the lessons learned in the museums of New York. Happy with the results he had achieved, he continued his research delving deeper into the elements he had acquired from masters he had chosen for their sensibility. And although Picasso occupied a privileged place in that list, and Tamayo had produced some works under his influence, it was only a year later that his artistic presence became more evident in Tamayo's work.

    Bañistas, painted in 1930 using careful short brushstrokes and contrasting colors, is one of Tamayo's paintings where one can more clearly appreciate the synthesis of some features of Picasso's Neoclassic period (1921-23) combined with Tamayo's own aesthetic concerns. These rotund Bañistas have the same solid presence of the women posing by the seaside in Picasso's paintings. Their impassive expression and the serenity and relaxed postures of the bathers and mothers with their children is shared by Tamayo's Bañistas. And, while Picasso's subjects are depicted in the nude, the present scene, by contrast, includes drapery. In Tamayo painting, the drapery plays a major role in the formal and color composition--the red cloth draped around the main figure is sculpture-like, balancing the composition with its heavy pleats and absorbing part of the light of the scene. Three women with their hair done up are located in an atmosphere of intimate relaxation. Although depicted as having white skin, the women's features are clearly indigenous. One of them coquettishly peers out from behind the back of the main figure's chair, intently staring at the viewer. In 1930 Tamayo lovingly executed several portraits of painter María Izquierdo, his partner at the time. Thus the present painting's main figure bears a striking resemblance to Izquierdo's features.

    Juan Carlos Pereda

    Provenance

    Galería de Arte Mexicano, Mexico City.
    Dr. Alvar Carrillo Gil collection, Mexico City.
    Private collection, Mexico City.
    Private collection, New York.


    Saleroom Notice

    Please note the correct birth date for the artist is 1899.


    Literature

    Exhibition catalogue, Tamayo: Veinte Años de su Labor Pictórica, Mexico City, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo Nacional de Artes Plásticas, 1948, no. 3.
    L. P. Lara, 'La obra de Rufino Tamayo,' Revista de Revistas, 11 July, 1948, (illustrated).
    Exhibition catalogue, Rufino Tamayo: Setenta Años de Creación, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Rufino Tamayo, 1988, no. 22, p. 321.
    Exhibition catalogue, Hechizo de Oaxaca, Monterrey, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, 1991, p. 183 (illustrated in color).
    J. C. Pereda, 'Tamayo: Pintor y coleccionista,' Equis, no. 16, August 1999, p. 51 (illustrated in color).
    K. Reiman, 'Appropriation, Invention, and Irony: Tamayo's Early Period, 1920-1937,' in exhibition catalogue, Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Art Museum, 2007, p. 175, fig. 84, (illustrated in color).


    Exhibited

    Mexico City, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Tamayo: Veinte Años de su Labor Pictórica, June - September 1948.
    Mexico City, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Internacional Rufino Tamayo, Rufino Tamayo: Setenta Años de Creación, December 1987 - March 1988.
    Monterrey, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey, Hechizo de Oaxaca, November 1991 - March 1992.