Wifredo LAM


CATALOG  |  BIOGRAPHY

Born: 1902, Cuban. Painter, draftsman and sculptor of Cuban origin, born of a Chinese father and Afro-Cuban mother. Dead; 1982, Paris, France.

Education: Between 1918 and 1923, Lam studied painting at the School of Fine Arts. In 1923, Lam moved to Spain, where he remained until the late 1930s. There he trained with the reactionary painter Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor (Spanish), 1875-1960.

Experience: After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, Lam traveled to Paris, where he met Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973), who would become a friend and defender of the whole life of his work. During his time in Paris, Lam worked mainly in gouache, producing stylized figures influenced by Picasso and African sculpture. Lam partnered with the Surrealists after meeting André Breton (French, 1896-1966). After the Nazi invasion of France, Lam returned to Cuba in the early 1940s. His works from that era represented figures, often in part human and animal, in African masks and exploring voodoo themes and other traditional rituals. In 1946, Lam returned to Paris, settling there in the early fifties. His later works were characterized by increasingly simplified forms and rich colors.

Awards: 1951 first prize at the Salone Nacionale in Havana, Cuba. 1953 Gold Medal for foreign painters in Premlo Lissone, Rome, Italy. 1958 appointed member of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in Fine Arts, Chicago, IL. 1964 Awarded the Guggenheim International Prize, New York, NY. 1965 Marzotto Prize in Milan, Italy.

Shows: His works are part of collections of numerous public and private institutions around the world, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana and the Museum of Modern Art of Brussels.

Collections: Collections Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, Center Georges Pompidou, Paris, France, Medeco Center, Havana, Cuba, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Denmark, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France, Museum Boyrnans-van-Beuningen , Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, National Galerie, Berlin, Germany, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, Tate Gallery, London, UK.