42.9 x 35.2 cm (16 7/8 x 13 7/8 inches)
Museum Works of Art Fund
Painted in dark, muted colors, this striking portrait conveys a somber tone reinforced by the subject’s facial expression. Her elongated and stylized face bears an empty gaze, as if she were lost in thought. The subject seems older than the title suggests, but that could reflect the past use of the term girl to refer to young women. Perhaps Rufino Tamayo was conveying the weight of existence during World War II. In 1942, Mexico entered the war. Tamayo, living in New York at the time, was also acutely aware of the war’s toll on immigrant artists there.