Rufino Tamayo (1899 - 1991)

Figura prehispánica II. Mujer de occidente, Nayarit (1976)
Prehispanic Figure II. Woman from Western Mexico, Nayarit

Lithograph on paper
height: 56cm
width: 45.5cm

Donated by the Fundación Olga y Rufino Tamayo 1997


The lithograph Mujer de occidente is based upon a figurine from the West Mexico state of Nayarit, as are three other images in the Figuras Prehispánicas series, Jorobado, Guerrero, and Mujer con cuerpo decorado. This seated woman wears a headpiece that resembles a bowler hat, and a beaded band around her arm. She is also adorned with a curving necklace, life-size examples of which have been discovered in both stone and ceramic and which are thought to have been worn by both men and women. The woman carries a bowl on her shoulder, and a rounded object in her other hand. The figure is partially covered with a vermillion stoke of paint, a colour common to both Precolumbian and folk arts in Mexico. Tamayo often stated that the colours in his work were inspired by those of arte popular, which he saw as consisting of a limited range because they were natural, and particularly prominent were 'earth tones; red from the red earth'. (Tamayo, 1989: 42)

Rufino Tamayo in interview with Janet Brody Esser and Margarita Nieto, 'A Conversation with a Mexican Master.' Latin American Art Magazine: Fall 1989.

Terri Geis, 2008

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