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In artistic circles in those days, according to Rufino Tamayo, anything that was not purely Mexican was roundly rejected, and works that reflected our own experience and personal expression were lavishly praised. This had its positive aspects, but it could also be dangerous. Tamayo believed that everyone who was involved in artistic pursuits should adopt a universal attitude, though without ignoring Mexican issues, otherwise Mexican painting would continue to stagnate. In his view, the murals at the School of Agronomy in Chapingo or the Escuela Nacional Preparatoria were nothing like the ones at Ciudad Universitaria [UNAM campus], which were not based on a formal proposal.


Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) wrote this message to young painters in an attempt to clear up some misunderstandings. There were conflicting opinions in Mexico at the time; revolutionary painting was considered the genre that expressed ideological ideas. But Tamayo thought that the revolution could be found in the plastic qualities of an artist’s work, in the actual pictorial aspect of painting. He believed that the originality of art and its revolutionary quid should be part of a new form of expression. Tamayo understood that the younger generations were changing the world through their rebellious nonconformity; but he cautioned them not to accept other people’s slogans or established formulas. 

Ana María Torres : CEPE, U.N.A.M. / CURARE A. C.
CURARE, Espacio crítico para las artes, Mexico City, Mexico
© Tamayo Heirs/México/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliográficas : Biblioteca Nacional/Hemeroteca Nacional