Profiles: Mexico’s Great Artist, Francisco Toledo, Has Died (1940 – 2019)

From a Smithsonian Magazine online article:

Francisco Toledo - The Wanderer (1989)Though his paintings and sculptures sell all over the world for fabulous prices, he has not enriched himself. He lives simply, with his wife, Trine Ellitsgaard Lopez, an accomplished weaver, in a traditional house in the middle of Oaxaca, and has used his considerable profits to found art centers and museums, an ethnobotanical garden and at least three libraries.

jun2019_g03_franciscotoledoToledo, whose origins were obscure and inauspicious, was the son of a leatherworker—shoemaker and tanner. He was born in Mexico City, but the family soon after moved to their ancestral village near Juchitán de Zaragoza in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, nearer to Guatemala than to Mexico City—and being ethnically Zapotec, nearer culturally to the ancient pieties of the hinterland too.

His paintings became sought after for their singular beauty. His work resisted all classification and fashion. He was not attached to any movement, even when the art world was turbulent with abstraction and Minimalism and Color Field and Op Art. He elaborated his ancestral visions of masks and folk tales, haunted and highly colored landscapes, and eroticism that was both comic and gothic. “He intuits the timelessness of authenticity,” the Guatemalan art critic Luis Cardoza y Aragón wrote. In 1967, an enthusiastic Henry Miller—himself a watercolorist—wrote the text for a Toledo exhibition.

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