Rafael Tufiño

Painter, draftsman, graphic artist, muralist, and illustrator. One cannot speak of Puerto Rican art without spending a good deal of time discussing Rafael Tufiño. With Puerto Rican parents, born in New York, Tufiño returned to Puerto Rico when he was ten. Tufiño began his artistic training under Alejandro Sánchez Felipe and Juan Rosado. He studied printmaking and mural technique at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas (Academia de San Carlos) in Mexico City. In 1950, he, Lorenzo Homar, and José A. Torres Martinó co-founded the Center for Puerto Rican Art. In 1952, he joined the Graphic Arts Workshop at DivEdCo and painted the mural La Plena, which now graces the Fine Arts Center in Santurce. In 1953, with Lorenzo Homar, and in collaboration with graphic designer Irene Delano, Tufiño created the famous portfolio Plenas. In 1954, having been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, he created El Café, the first solo portfolio by a Puerto Rican artist. Tufiño also worked at the Graphic Arts Workshop of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture, which he directed in 1967. Tufiño is one of the seminal figures of the “Fifties Generation” of Puerto Rican artists and, along with Lorenzo Homar and Carlos Raquel Rivera, was one of the foremost practitioners of printmaking.

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