The exhibition entitled “Construyendo Tamayo, 1922-1937,” which opened here this week at the museum that bears his name, aims to show the first works of this Mexican artist who became one of his nation’s preeminent muralists.
“With these works we see how he came to be what he was, and what things he left aside to become the Tamayo with a capital T, as he constructed a more mature, richer, and even a more commercial identity,” the exhibition’s curator Karen Cordero told Efe.
The display therefore explores how Tamayo (1988-1991) developed his art between the 1920’s and ‘30s, through the presentation of 70 works both by himself and by his contemporaries from institutional and private collections in Mexico and the United States.
“The idea is to show the relationship of Tamayo’s work during that period with the different ideas and constructs that were creating a truly Mexican modern art at the time,” Cordero said.
To that end, she said, comparisons are made with other artists of the period whose inventions in some way “enter into a dialogue” with his own creations.
Providing context for Tamayo’s paintings, therefore, are works by Antonio Ruiz, Agustin Lazo, Manuel Rodriguez Lozano, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Jose Clemente Orozco, Maria Izquierdo and Manuel Alvarez Bravo.
Though Tamayo has always been criticized for having dealt with social issues far less than other great muralists did, his work shows he was similarly engaged, but “in more subtle ways, in code, while applying the same plastic elements,” Cordero said.