The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
Rufino Tamayo believed that Mexican painting was dead because, “the vitality that nourished and strengthened it during its youthful period is now old; this premature aging is a result of painting’s laziness and static condition.” Tamayo proposed addressing this situation by taking a sober, honest look at the condition of art in an attempt to find a solution to the crisis. He suggested that the plastic exercise should be considered as well as the painting’s account or theme; the form of expression should therefore be consistent with the nature and needs of the particular point in time when the work of art was produced. According to Tamayo, contemporary painting should include geometrical features and a harmonious balance of the various plastic elements as well as, of course, poetry which is the human element and the essential mystery of the visual arts.
Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) continued to clarify the ideas that formed the basis of his aesthetic approach. He referred to the concept of not imitating nature, and to the search for a personal pictorial expression. At that time he was particularly interested in the young painters, whom he saw as the hope of the future, and he directed his remarks to them. Tamayo agreed that it was time for an innovative form of painting that was consistent with contemporary political and social developments. He stressed the importance of creating a current, thoughtful form of painting that did not ignore the human component and that used a pictorial language to express texture, color, and composition since all these elements are part of the creative process.