Man in Black
Rufino Tamayo ( Mexican, 1899 - 1991 )
In this work—one of Rufino Tamayo’s larger lithographs—an abstracted figure stands at the center of a speckled orange background. Tamayo’s title indicates that the figure is a man; however, his facial features and limbs are difficult to decipher due to the dark, heavy application of ink to his form. Sparse, feathered lines outline the geometric and cage-like contours of his body, a treatment that diminishes human characteristics. The geometric anatomy and rigid stature of the ominous figure suggest a nonhuman subject, while the subtle and ambiguous details equate him with the common man.
Erin Piñon, Tower Gallery: Latin American Art, Label text, 2017.