Indian Woman


Rufino Tamayo ( Mexican, 1899 - 1991 )

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General Description

"I don't try to use many colors because I consider it unnecessary. With two or three colors at the most you can express more than plenty."—Rufino Tamayo

This color lithograph is one of a series of similar studies by Mexican painter and printmaker Rufino Tamayo that explore the complex relationship between color and the abstracted human figure. In this portrait of a woman, the artist returns to his trope of a woman standing within an open doorway. Here, however, the mystery of her identity is less ominous. The broad-shouldered, faceless female wears a white dress, cinched at her waist. Her arms dangle in front of and behind her, suggesting movement through the doorway; however, Tamayo impairs her movement by painting broad black strokes across her chest, down her dress, and onto the adjacent wall, affixing her to the domestic interior and confining her to a liminal space.

Excerpt from

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