Wifredo Lam



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Wifredo Lam Painter

Wifredo Lam pittore

Wifredo Lam was a Cuban painter. Son of a Chinese businessman and an Afro-European mother, he was born on 8 December 1902 in Sagua la Grande, in Cuba. His life and artistic career were influenced by a series of significant experiences and encounters that led him to be recognized as one of the major Cuban artists of his time. Wifredo Lam began his artistic training at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts in Havana, where he studied until 1923. During this period, he expressed his vocation for painting and participated in exhibitions at the Salón de Bellas Artes.
In 1923, thanks to a scholarship offered by his hometown, he went to Europe, initially with the intention of reaching Paris. His stay in Spain proved fundamental for his artistic training. In Madrid, Wifredo Lam came into contact with the ideas of modern art and studied the great masters of Spanish painting, including Velázquez, Goya and Bosch. He discovers surprising connections between Western and "primitive" art, paving the way for a unique fusion of styles and influences in his work. Unfortunately, his stay in Spain is marked by personal tragedies.
In 1931, his wife Eva and their son die of tuberculosis, leaving him with a deep pain that will be reflected in many of his future works, in which he will depict the theme of mother with child.
During the Spanish civil war, Wifredo Lam joins the republican forces in the fight against Franco, drawing anti-fascist posters and working in a munitions factory. In 1938, he left Spain for Paris, where his meeting with Pablo Picasso had a profound impact on his art. Picasso introduced him to the circle of artists, poets and art critics of the time, including Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse and many others.
In 1939, he held his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Pierre in Paris, which marks the beginning of the official recognition of his art. The Second World War brings him to an unexpected stop in Martinique, where he was interned for forty days. During this time, he met Aimé Césaire, a meeting that would have a lasting impact on his life and art.
After his return to Cuba in 1941, Wifredo Lam explored his cultural identity and his Afro-Cuban roots in his painting. The Cuban period is the most productive of his career, producing over one hundred paintings, including his most famous and representative work, The Jungle of 1942.
In the following years, he continues to travel and exhibit in around the world, in the United States, Europe and other countries. He settled in Paris in 1952 and married the Swedish artist Lou Laurin in 1960.
During the 1960s, Wifredo Lam became increasingly interested in engraving and collaborated with poets and writers to create large-format portfolios . His art is characterized by a unique aesthetic, which blends cubist influences, primitive elements and surrealism in a very personal way. His artistic research also reflects his interest in African and Afro-Cuban culture, which he helped bring to light through his art. His artistic legacy continues to inspire and influence artists around the world, and his work has been celebrated in numerous internationally renowned exhibitions and retrospectives. Wifredo Lam has left an indelible mark on the history of art, demonstrating that cultural diversity and the meeting of traditions can lead to enormous creativity and artistic innovation.



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