Rufino Tamayo America Mural

Click image above for larger view.
Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991) created the expansive America mural in 1955 for the Bank of the Southwest in Houston, Texas. Tamayo worked tirelessly seven days a week for five months, without the aid of assistants, to complete the painting. The mural was produced using sand and vinylite (a synthetic industrial paint) on canvas and measured 13' 2" tall by 45' 10 3/8" wide. The piece was painted offsite at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico and upon completion, rolled up and sent to Houston where it was installed in the banks lobby. America was officially unveiled in April of 1956 and received great praise.

Some perspective on how big the painting actually is. (AFP: Emmanuel Dunand)

In 1993 America was auctioned off at Christie's to a private collector who then loaned the mural to the Dallas Museum of Art, where it was on view for fifteen years. The painting was then resold in 2008 at Sotheby's for $6,802,500. Below is a video produced by Sotheby's describing the production of the mural and its symbolism.

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