Rufino Tamayo ( Mexican, 1899 - 1991 )
Printed in Paris, this seemingly monochromatic lithograph is representative of Rufino Tamayo’s figural abstraction in print. Here the artist’s subtle addition of grays and greens to the face of his sitter creates a sense of depth in a grossly geometric portrayal. Tamayo’s short and violent strikes to the carving stone resulted in a chilling portrait of an aptly-named "lunatic," whose piercing gaze confronts its spectator. The artist chose to embrace and celebrate the ominous and mysterious character of the unidentified figure by further obscuring the background and creating an undecipherable environment. Lines swirl around the head of the crazed man, indicating chaos, but also a sense of his mental confusion.
Erin Piñon, Tower Gallery: Latin American Art, Label text, 2017.