Young Women Jumping Rope (Jovencitas brincando la cuerda)
Rufino Tamayo ( Mexican, 1899 - 1991 )
Following models painted by members of the international avant-garde, Rufino Tamayo treats his female nudes in neither a picturesque nor blatantly erotic manner. In this painting of three young women, the artist uses strong linear definition, juxtaposed with dramatic shifts in color blocking, in order to capture the movement and musculature of women jumping rope. Here and elsewhere, Tamayo deviates from mainstream Mexican modernism by challenging folkloric traditions. The artist fulfills his objective of universality by obscuring the faces and identities of his subjects. What is clearly displayed, however, is the energy and exuberance of these bodies in motion.
Erin Piñon, Tower Gallery: Latin American Art, Label text, 2017.