392
392

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION

Rufino Tamayo
NIÑA ATLETA
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 500,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
392

PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION

Rufino Tamayo
NIÑA ATLETA
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 500,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Rufino Tamayo
1899 - 1991
NIÑA ATLETA
Signed Tamayo and dated O-81 (upper right); titled and dated 1981 (on the reverse)
Oil and sand on canvas 
51 1/4 by 37 1/2 in.
130 by 95 cm
Painted in 1981. 
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We wish to thank Juan Carlos Pereda for his kind assistance in the cataloguing of this work.

Provenance

Marlborough Gallery, New York
Private Collection (acquired from the above and sold: Christie's, New York, November 21, 1989, lot 31)
Private Collection, Mexico (acquired at the above sale)
Acquired from the above 

Literature

Christina Souza, "Rufino Tamayo: los artistas no somos prácticos," in Buenhogar, ed. 17, no. 14, Mexico City, June 30, 1982, illustrated p. 8

Catalogue Note

Rufino Tamayo’s mastery of color and prodigious innovations in form and composition are clearly evidenced in Niña atleta. A dynamic example of the artist’s mature style, Niña atleta is exquisitely painted in oscillating shades of violet and green, enrobed in a halo of magenta and earth-red tones that seem to lift her out of the picture plane and into our world. Tamayo’s glowing hues create a sense of optimism and jubilation that are infectious; her mask-like face gives her an aura of mystery and universality, rendering her a joyful and eternal icon of youth.

The artist frequently revisited this theme of blissful childhood in his later years, perhaps in a nostalgic reminiscence of his early career as a teacher at the Dalton School in New York. The visual economy of Niña atleta, which is comprised entirely of squares, circles and triangles, both relates to the geometric foundations Tamayo passed on to his students and signifies “the essence of Tamayo’s strived-after universality…which can be traced back to his early (and continued) fascination with pre-hispanic art. The Maya, Aztecs and other indigenous peoples of Mexico were geniuses at expressing the essential qualities of a human figure…with a few lines” (Edward Sullivan, “Paths of Light: The Art of Rufino Tamayo,” in Tamayo: Recent Paintings, New York, 1990, p. 9). The gracefully bowed arms and architectonically harmonious forms of Colima figural sculpture clearly influenced Tamayo's Niña (see fig. 1). Tamayo masterfully combines pre-Columbian aesthetic sensitivities with a modernist treatment of texture and color to monumentalize his youthful heroine.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
New York