The Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña (ICP) celebrated the centennial of Rafael Tufiño (1922-2022) at Central Hall of the Old Arsenal of the Spanish Navy in Old San Juan through an exquisitely curated show from their collection.
We are excited to bring this exhibition, “Celebrating 100 Years of Rafael Tufiño,” to our Museum in collaboration with ICP, the Estate of Rafael Tufiño, and the Government of Puerto Rico.
This is the first time Rafael Tufiño’s works of art travel to Chicago. This unparalleled exhibition showcases an exclusive array of 39 stunning paintings, drawings, and prints. Remarkably, only 5 of these pieces have ever been on the continental United States. These previously unseen artworks have graced prestigious venues in New York, including the Museo del Barrio and the Bronx Museum, as well as Connecticut, but have never been available for others to enjoy, like in our great city of Chicago and beyond.
What makes this exhibit truly exceptional is that these pieces have been carefully chosen from the ICP Collection, and you won’t find them in any other collection.
Tufiño’s crowning achievement lay in his devotion to highlighting Puerto Rico’s cultural heritage, particularly its African roots. Through his art, he endeavored to shed light on the marginalized stories and contributions of Afro-Puerto Ricans, infusing his works with an undeniable sense of historical and social significance. This commitment earned him the moniker of the “Painter of the People,” as his art truly became a conduit for voicing the experiences and aspirations of everyday individuals.
Although Tufiño started in his teenage years, this exhibition focuses on the period from 1955 onwards, coinciding with the foundation of the ICP. Through this chronology, ICP aims to showcase the significant relationship between the artist and the Institution, providing a captivating insight into Tufiño’s evolution as an artist.
The themes explored in Tufiño’s works include “palabra e imagen” (word and image), “gente de pueblo” (people of the town), “movimiento y colaboración” (movement and collaboration). These elements intertwine to create a vibrant narrative that resonates with all generations who will appreciate the depth and scope of Tufiño’s social, political, and familial statements through his art.
Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to experience Tufiño’s powerful art firsthand as these remarkable works finally make their Chicago debut.