Extraordinary Painters from Oaxaca, Gutiérrez, Zárate and Tamayo

Oaxaca is one of those magical places; its people and traditions plus its natural and material wealth form a great environment for artistic development. More than any other place in the country, this State is recognized for the diversity of esthetic proposals it offers: wood carving, painting, sculpture, altarpieces, black clay and eclectic styles, are only some of these artists’ preferences.

Francisco Gutiérrez; Among the saga of artists from Oaxaca, the story of Francisco Gutiérrez – 1906-1945 – didn’t reach its full potential due to his untimely death, although his style and power were anticipated from his first works. Thus after his death, critics, curators and galleries have tried to be fair with him, showing his retrospective to the public.

The work of Gutierrez received a visible influence from cubism and surrealism, among other currents. Although his topics revolve around the feminine world of Oaxaca, his esthetics involve a combination of Greek art on which he draws figures of women from the south of Mexico, with an easily perceivable context of dreams.

Luís Zárate; Is one of the fortunate painters who transcend into an esthetic formation where he could experiment with diverse European influences. He studied in the National Art School of Paris and others. His good fortune also helped in his international recognition, enjoying greater opportunities in the spaces of contemporary esthetics, with tens of individual and collective exhibits.

Luis Zárate was born in Santa Catarina Cuanana in 1951, the Oaxaca theme doesn’t escape the need for expression in his paintings and some lithographs, where women from Juchitán in their subtle lines promote the origin and color of that beautiful land.

Rufino Tamayo is one of the most renowned artists from Oaxaca, born in 1899, he studied to be a bookkeeper in Mexico City by his parents’ request. Then he decided to follow his passion and enroll in the Academia de San Carlos. His life was divided between school and working in the Archeology Museum, which he combined to achieve an esthetic line that would define him for the rest of his life. Although his formal academic life was short, it served him to finally choose to be self-taught and explore the proposals of other painters and styles.

Contact with Mexican life influenced his whole composition and treatment of topics, although he never belonged to any political ideology like other painters, his strong will to explore and belong allowed a certain independence from the nationalism of that time. Outstanding among his works are the murals of the National Music Conservatory from 1933, the ones in the Smith College of Northampton in Massachusetts, paintings such as “El Cantante” from 1950 and “Mujeres de Tehuantepec” of 1939. Countless pieces evoke that direct relation of the people from Oaxaca with their space, community and environment. He died in 1991.

These are other extraordinary painters from Oaxaca:
-Francisco Toledo
-Rodolfo Nieto and Rodolfo Morales

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Foto: MuseoSoumaya.com (Hombre con Tronco Rufino Tamayo)