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.
In this interview, Rufino Tamayo insists that his painting is not part of the abstractionist trend; however, the Italian art critic Giambattista Vicari believed that he could see a reliance on abstract motifs in the work of the painter from Oaxaca. These motifs were nonetheless a far cry from the European version due to Tamayo’s exposure to the Americas before the arrival of Cortés. Rosa Castro, on the other hand, claimed that his paintings expressed a primitivism that was archaic rather than folkloric, which saved them from mannerism, grammatical repetition, and decorative influences.
Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) believed that there was some confusion concerning the term “abstract.” He insisted that he was not an “abstractionist” painter despite attempts to pigeonhole him as such, and offered as an alternative the preferable English term, “non-objective,” which captured perfectly the idea behind his painting. He also suggested calling it “non-representative” since it involved purely geometric arrangements. Tamayo added that, in his opinion, abstract art was in vogue among European and North American painters, and stated categorically that he was not a proponent of that style since it was a dehumanized product fuelled entirely by intellectual speculation.