Painter, printmaker and sculptor Francisco Toledo was born in 1940 in Juchitán in the State of Oaxaca in Mexico. Toledo’s art draws on human, animal and mineral life and explores indigenous, Zapotec and worldwide cultures. He began working in Mexico City in the Engraving Free Workshop in the School of Arts, dependent of the National Institute of the Fine Arts. By the time he reached nineteen years of age, he had already exhibited in Mexico and in Fort Worth, Texas. In 1960, he went to Europe, where he studied and worked for five years with Stanley William Hayter in Paris.
In 1965, Toledo returned to Mexico, working extensively in sculpture, painting, graphic art, ceramic and designing tapestries in collaboration with the artisans from Teotitlán del Valle. During the late 1970s, he went to New York, where he lived briefly, before returning to Mexico, living between Mexico City and Oaxaca, until the mid-1980s. Toledo had an exhibition at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, NY in 1978 and in 1980, a retrospective of his works was shown in the Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City. An exhibition of his graphic works was shown in 1984 at the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, traveling later to La Havana. During the same year, a second exhibition of Toledo’s graphic works was shown in the Mexican Center Museum of Fine Arts in Chicago.
Toledo has illustrated a number of books based on ancestral stories, among them, “Chilam Balam”, “Guachi” and “Sahagún”. In 1993, he helped to establish the Museo se Arte Contemporeáno de Oaxaca (MACO) and to restore some locations in Santo Domingo to found the Centro Cultural Santo Domingo in Oaxaca. In 1998, he received the National Prize from Ernesto Zedillo and the following year, he exhibited a new series of etchings in Casa de la Cultura de Oaxaca and in Galería Juan Martín. Later, the show traveled to the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia in Spain. Toledo now lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico.