Galerie des Modernes

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Wifredo Lam

Surrealism

(Sagua La Grande-Cuba, 1902 - Paris, 1982)

Wifredo Lam

Wilfredo LAM was born in 1902 in the town of Sagua La Grande in Cuba, a Chinese father and a mulatto mother, dual African and Spanish descent.

The lush nature of Sagua La Grande and derived beliefs Cuban voodoo causes since childhood a striking impact on Lam.

From 1918 to 1923, he attended the School of Fine Arts in Havana, then he moved to Spain where he stayed 14 years. This period is fundamental in Lam formation as an artist. In Madrid, he came into contact with the ideas and movements of modern art and regularly attends the Archaeological Museum and the Prado rooms. He discovers some surprising correlations between occidental art and art called "primitive".


In 1938, Lam left Spain for Paris where he met Picasso. The latter introduced him to his friends painters, poets and art critics: Braque, Matisse, Miró, Léger, Eluard, Leiris, Tzara, Kahnweiler, Zervos.

In 1939, Lam met Benjamin Peret; he joined André Breton and the Surrealist movement. He paints, draws, serious, imaginary worlds and Baroque from "automatism of thought." Lam often works in series. It will make (1941), along with a group of surrealist artists, a trip to his homeland.

Wifredo Lam gives birth to human or animal shapes he introduced exuberant environments. Later, the artist stylized his figures who become subjects-totems, "intimate confession" of his life. It will carry an important graphic work (lithographs and etchings), illustrations for many books, murals, ceramics and terracotta.

Wifredo Lam died in Paris in 1982.


The Centre Pompidou devoted a retrospective (September 30, 2015 -. 15 fev.2016) bringing together more than 300 works of the artist.

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Work(s)