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THE ARTIST : Year of Tamayo 15 Months Away

September 17, 1987|MIKE WYMA

Often compared in style to Pablo Picasso, Paul Cezanne and Georges Braque, Rufino Tamayo, 88, has had one-man exhibitions in major galleries in North and South America, Europe and Asia. His native Mexico has declared 1989 the Year of Tamayo and plans a major retrospective of his work.

William Wilson, The Times' art critic, wrote in 1982 that Tamayo's art "remains unmistakably Mexican in its hot colors and in motifs derived from indigenous folk- and pre-Columbian art." But the artist "internationalized its look by first absorbing elements of School of Paris Cubism and then parts of post-World War II Expressionism."

The Tamayo show at the Cultural Foundation's ARTSPACE gallery in Woodland Hills includes 28 of the artist's works, mostly oil paintings and "mixographia," or painting-like works done from molded paper. The exhibition runs Sept. 19 through Oct. 31 and represents the range of Tamayo's 50-year career.

The works are the property of a Palm Springs gallery owned by Bernard Lewin, Tamayo's representative in the United States. Madeleine Landry, executive director of the Cultural Foundation, said the show grew out of her chance visit to that gallery.

Tamayo, in a phone interview from his Mexico City home, said he welcomed the chance to have his work shown in the Valley. "Los Angeles is a great city for art," Tamayo said.

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