October 3, 2009 – January 24, 2010
If I could express with a single word what it is that distinguishes Tamayo from other painters, I would say without a moment’s hesitation: Sun. For the sun is in all his pictures, whether we see it or not.
-Nobel Prize-winning poet Octavio Paz
Meridian International Center, together with the MIXOGRAFÍA® workshop and Landau Traveling Exhibitions in Los Angeles, displayed a stunning exhibition of 39 signed prints by renowned Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991).
Orphaned at a young age, Tamayo relocated to Mexico City in the early twentieth century and attended the National Academy of Fine Arts. By 1926 he was presenting solo exhibitions in Mexico City and New York and increasingly gained acclaim for his work. In a successful and peripatetic career, this renowned artist lived in the United States and France for many years before returning to Oaxaca, Mexico. There, he founded a museum and continued to produce innovative artworks with distinctly Mexican qualities.
In the early 1970s, Tamayo was invited by Luis and Lea Remba to collaborate as a printmaker at their workshop in Mexico City. He expressed interest, but was eager to identify new approaches to the print medium – especially techniques that would yield works with increased volume and texture. This challenge resulted in Luis Remba inventing a unique printing technique later known as “Mixografía®”.
Rufino Tamayo was the first artist to work with this printing process and created 67 editions over a seventeen year period prior to his death. These workshop editions represent one-fifth of his total printmaking output during his lifetime and are a fascinating excursus into the extraordinary plasticity of paper. Since Tamayo’s work with the Remba family, “MIXOGRAFÍA®” has influenced artists in the United States and elsewhere and the studio, later transferred from Mexico City to Los Angeles, continues to attract those who wish to expand the limits of this two-dimensional medium.
Artworks included in this exhibition represent a cross-section of the exciting collaboration between a renowned artist and master printmakers. It serves as an excellent example of cross-border relations and the ways in which cultural endeavors between the United States and Mexico have grown and flourished.
This exhibit will be accompanied by programs created in partnership with the Mexican Cultural Institute and the Embassy of Mexico in Washington, DC. It is a continuation of Meridian’s spring 2009 garden party and related events developed with the Mexican Embassy and the State of Yucatán.
Meryl and Honorable Michael Chertoff
Giselle and Ben Huberman
Michael and Linda Sonnenreich