Wifredo Lam

Cuban, 1902–1982

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Wifredo Lam

Cuban, 1902–1982

1,817
Followers
Biography

A major early 20th-century painter, Wifredo Lam fused elements of Cubism and Surrealism with African culture in paintings that were exhibited alongside those of Pablo Picasso and other Cubists and Fauvists. A native Cuban, Lam hailed from Chinese, European, Indian, and mixed-African descent, and he was deeply influenced by African spiritual practices such as Santeria. He studied in Spain under the same teacher as Salvador Dalí and became a friend of Picasso after moving to Paris in 1938. After returning to Havana in 1941, Lam began producing paintings that were dominated by hybridized human-animal-vegetal figures. There he produced his most famous work, The Jungle (1943), which depicted four grotesque figures with mask-like faces emerging from dense vegetation, and has drawn comparisons with Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica (1937).

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
€4m, Sotheby's, 2017
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 4 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 4 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Biography

A major early 20th-century painter, Wifredo Lam fused elements of Cubism and Surrealism with African culture in paintings that were exhibited alongside those of Pablo Picasso and other Cubists and Fauvists. A native Cuban, Lam hailed from Chinese, European, Indian, and mixed-African descent, and he was deeply influenced by African spiritual practices such as Santeria. He studied in Spain under the same teacher as Salvador Dalí and became a friend of Picasso after moving to Paris in 1938. After returning to Havana in 1941, Lam began producing paintings that were dominated by hybridized human-animal-vegetal figures. There he produced his most famous work, The Jungle (1943), which depicted four grotesque figures with mask-like faces emerging from dense vegetation, and has drawn comparisons with Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica (1937).

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Auction
High auction record
€4m, Sotheby's, 2017
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 4 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 8 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 4 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale National Pavilion, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Wifredo Lam
Articles Featuring Wifredo Lam
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Mar 31st, 2018
Surrealism
Sep 23rd, 2016
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