12
12
Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991)
HOMBRE CON UN FAROL
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 672,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
12
Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991)
HOMBRE CON UN FAROL
Estimate
600,000800,000
LOT SOLD. 672,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Latin America: Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991)
HOMBRE CON UN FAROL
signed and dated O-77 upper right; also titled and dated on the reverse
oil and sand on canvas
55 1/4 by 69 in.
140 by 175 cm
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We wish to thank Juan Carlos Pereda for his kind assistance in the cataloguing of this work.

Provenance

The Collection of Olga Tamayo, Mexico City
Private Collection, Mexico City
Private Collection, London
Sale: Christie's, New York, Latin American Sale, May 28, 2009, lot 55, illustrated in color
Acquired from the above by the present owner 

Exhibited

Tokyo, The National Museum of Modern Art, Rufino Tamayo, April 10-May 30, 1976, no. 72, illustrated 

Catalogue Note

Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) reinstates the supremacy of the figure in Hombre con un farol (1976), a brilliantly executed painting oscillating between the metaphysical and the corporeal. Once practically extinguished in the early 1960s by the preeminence of dematerializing forms and color field backgrounds, humanity’s presence reemerges as paramount subject in Tamayo's late painting. Triumphantly released from the domain of pure abstraction, elongated thinned personages evoking isolated and otherworldly beings are tasked with repopulating and redefining space. Left behind are the richly applied shades of reds, pinks, and deep purple hues that so lavishly imbued Tamayo’s canvases with Parisian sensuality and indulgence. 

Ever so present in Tamayo’s work is the influence of his pre-Colombian heritage. Long after its first appearance in the 1930s, pre-Columbian and folk art traditions continued to serve Tamayo’s declaration for “universality;” a theme vastly overshadowed by the social realism that characterized much of Mexican artistic production during the first half of the twentieth-century. Lacking any facial features, the main character turns introspectively in search of meaning and identity, a perpetual existential quest. References to reality, never truly abandoned by the artist, are further materialized through the theatricality of the stage and the presence of monumental archetypes next to functional objects painted in an unusual scale: a grey ball floating amid space and an impossibly shortened street lantern in the foreground.

It has been said that a study should be made of the different positions adopted by the arms in the works of Tamayo. “They are, in all events, decisive.” (1) Whether open or closed, active or in repose, they communicate tone better than any other formal element. In Hombre con un farol, one arm is relaxed while the other one appears engaged in a menial action: turning on a street lantern. The promise of light and with it knowledge, symbolically alludes to Tamayo’s humanistic spirit; a belief in the universality of art across millennia and civilizations. 

(1) José Corredor-Matheos, Tamayo, Rizzoli, New York, 1987, pg. 24

Latin America: Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York