In the heart of Mexico City, amidst the sprawling expanse of Chapultepec Park, stands a beacon of contemporary art: The Museo Rufino Tamayo. Recently, this iconic institution has been captured through the lens of renowned photographer César Béjar.
From the late 1960s, Rufino Tamayo began acquiring artworks to form a collection of international contemporary art. He donated this collection to enable the Mexican public to engage with 20th-century art and, with the same goal, championed the creation of the Museo Tamayo to house it. Architects Abraham Zabludovsky and Teodoro González de León designed and built the museum.
On May 29, 1981, with sponsorship from Grupo Alfa and Fundación Cultural Televisa, the museum opened its doors. By September 9, 1986, it became part of the national heritage, managed by the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes. In 1989, to ensure the museum's optimal operation, Olga and Rufino Tamayo established a foundation bearing their names. Rufino Tamayo passed away in 1991, leaving the museum under a partnership of public and private entities, ensuring its continued mission throughout the years.
Tamayo's oeuvre was distinguished by its synthesis of European painting techniques with Mexican folk themes, resulting in vibrant and unparalleled art pieces. However, his legacy isn't confined to his creations alone. Throughout his life, Tamayo also amassed a significant collection of works by contemporary artists, both Mexican and international. Today, this collection forms the core of the museum's exhibits.
The Museo Tamayo isn't just a space for art but is a piece of art in its own right. Its architecture, a harmonious blend of modern design and natural elements, allows for a seamless melding of the building with the verdant surroundings of Chapultepec Park. Bejar's photos emphasize this symbiosis, highlighting the tranquil spaces within, where art and architecture converse in hushed tones.
Beyond its permanent collection, which boasts names like Picasso, Miró, Klee, and Bacon, the Museo Tamayo remains a dynamic space. Regular temporary exhibitions of national and international artists ensure that the museum remains at the forefront of the contemporary art scene. These exhibitions, coupled with a slew of educational programs including workshops, lectures, and guided tours, amplify its commitment to fostering a profound appreciation for contemporary art.
Through César Béjar's lens, the Museo Tamayo is seen anew, revealing the ambient, almost meditative, atmosphere that pervades its halls. This series of photographs reaffirms the museum's place as not just an art repository but as a living, breathing entity that dialogues with its visitors. As a testament to Rufino Tamayo's vision and to Mexico's rich cultural tapestry, the Museo Tamayo remains an essential destination for art enthusiasts the world over.