Girl at the Door


Rufino Tamayo ( Mexican, 1899 - 1991 )

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General Description

By the 1960s, Rufino Tamayo had established himself as one of Mexico’s most celebrated painters and printmakers. In this chromolithograph, Tamayo abstracts the figure of a young girl standing in the opening of a door. Her veiled head and neck—otherwise obscured by darkness—take the shape of a keyhole, marrying her form to the door she stands beside. Adding to the mystery of the girl’s identity is the artist’s choice to render her in silhouette, backlit by the vibrant light of the open door. What we can decipher is limited: two circular eyes resting on a linear plane, a heavily textured blue dress, and an outstretched arm.

Tamayo’s skill in color application is evident in this lithograph. The dark, shadowed blue is juxtaposed with the intensity of the orange ground on which the child stands, resulting in a haunting yet dreamlike portrait of a girl.

Excerpt from

Erin Piñon, Tower Gallery: Latin American Art, Label text, 2017.