Private Art Collection of Mexican Masters
Come in and welcome to our home. Today we're going to be looking around at our collection that is in many different rooms of the house.
We're going to start of with the living room. Here we have works by the Mexican masters: Rufino Tamayo, Remedios Varo, Diego Rivera, Francisco Toledo, José Clemente Orozco, Leonora Carrington, Ricardo Martinez de Hoyos, Alejandro Santiago and a few others.
First is a goache on paper by Rufino Tamayo from 1934. It's dedicated in the lower left hand corner to Rafael de la Colina. Colina was a diplomat and good friend of Rufino Tamayos', he helped Tamayo with a lot of museum shows.
Next is an exquisite little piece by Remedios Varo. Remedios Varo was originally from Spain, left Spain during or after the Civil War and became a renowned surrealist pinter in Mexico. This is a top notch work by Varo.
Right below the Varo is an interesting little piece by Alejandro Santiago, painted on an ostrich egg; it's dated 2000 or 1999. It has a small custom stand built for it so that it can spin in circles to reveal all sides of the circular pieces.
Next to the egg is a beautiful, hand painted ceramic vessel, also by Alejandro Santiago. This is one of the best ceramics I've seen by Alejandro. It is a piece that he actually kept for himself but I always admired it. One time when I gave him a show in San Francisco he brought it up from Oaxaca. He had it full of mezcal with a cork in the top; we drank mezcal at the opening out of this particular ceramic.
Above the fireplace is a work on paper by Diego Rivera. It is a large piece by Rivera for a work on paper, it is approximately 19 x 22 inches. The colors are really fresh, many pieces from this period have been faded by the sun over time, but this one has been preserved very well.
I'm guessing the date is 1937 because Rivera did a few rural pieces like this during that time. This piece depicts the iconic rural cantina, with guys drinking at the bar, chickens outside of the front door, and people selling food or other things besides drinks inside of the cantina.
Next is a watercolor by Francisco Toledo. I love this piece. It depicts a blue grasshopper with what appears to be a mirror image or reflection of it below, maybe from a puddle of water.
In the corner of the room we have two more pieces, one by Leonora Carrington and one by José Clemente Orozco. The Carrington is a lovely little drawing from 1960. The work is pen and ink with pencil on paper, it is simple but a lovely piece that was beautifully drawn.
On the back of the Carrington is another drawing that she started but did not finish. It is also signed. I don’t know the date of this one but it was probably drawn around the same time as the other. I had a custom frame built for this piece with a window in the back, to showcase the drawing on the back of the paper as well as the front.
Next to the drawing is a wonderful painting by José Clemente Orozco. This is oil, goache and possibly watercolor on paper, it is called Dance of Quetzalcoatl. The painting not dated but was most likely executed between 1932-1934, and like many of the pieces in this room it was incorporated in the 2018 exhibition at the Mexican Museum in San Francisco titled, Mexico in San Francisco: Works on Paper from Diego Rivera to Alejandro Santiago.
In the next corner we have works by Alejandro Santiago and Daniele Crepaldi.
The paintings by Alejandro Santiago were created while he was living and working in Paris, France and are influenced by classical European images of nude women, but also influenced by Oaxacan imagery as the center figures are surrounded by what looks like spirits or masks, images which are typical in works by Alejandro Santiago. The pieces demonstrate great drawing technique.
Next to the two paintings by Alejandro stands this wonderful sculpture called Alma Mata by Daniele Crepaldi. Daniele was an Italian artist but lived and worked in Oaxaca, Mexico for close to 20 years. He died in Oaxaca last year.
This sculpture was hand carved with a machete. Although he comes from Italy and was a fashion photographer and well educated in the arts, Daniele was one of the few artists capable of creating a genuine primordial quality in his work.
Next, above the sofa is a beautiful large work by Ricardo Martínez de Hoyos. Martínez was one of the artists who broke away from the restrictions that the big three: Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfraro Siqueiros had put on Mexican painting.
This piece is just fabulous. It depicts this image of the iconic corn grinder, which so many artists in Mexico have worked with, but it’s a really modernistic painting. You have this wonderful diagonal line that comes dissects the image in two, creating the vertical and horizontal plane. The composition is excellent, how the volume of the woman’s body and her small head relate to the large vase (to the right) that the corn is kept in.