Rufino Tamayo was a Zapotecan Indian born in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. He moved to México City where he attended the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plasticas "San Carlos."
Tamayo was exposed to the cultural wealth of pre-Colombian México as he worked as a draftsman at the Museo Nacional de Arqueologia. While his contemporaries Siqueiros, Rivera and Orozco were advocating art with a message, often political, Tamayo's work focused on plastic forms integrated with a masterful use of colors and textures. Tamayo participated in the development of "Mixografia®," a graphic technique to obtain colored and textured three-dimensional print on handmade paper. He is one of the best known Latin American artists.
His exhibitions have been in major museums such as the Palacio Nacional de Bellas Artes, México, The Philips Collection in Washington, The Guggenheim Museum in New York, The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Madrid as well as important art galleries throughout the world.