Wifredo LAM (1902-1982)

A Cuban painter whose international renown has never been eclipsed; Lam was at the initiative of a mixed painting that combines Western modernism and African symbolism.

Aimé Césaire, who was his friend, pointed out how much Lam loved freedom and invented his own language to better ‘defend the dignity of life’ but also inclined to observe the problems of contemporary reality to better confront them. He added that he knows better than anyone how to “paint the drama of his country, the cause and spirit of the blacks”.

If Lam is “the soul of his time, a struggle for justice and the liberation of the oppressed”, he also wanted to be of his time alongside avant-garde movements, cubism, surrealism and the Cobra movement because they favoured access to the subconscious and explored the wonderful and transcended it until graphic automatism.

A painter of water, air, wind, living light, “his drawing is in perfect harmony with his painting…”, he shows volumes, values, tones and suggests colour. Since his death thirty years ago, Lam has proven Picasso right when he said that he was a great painter and poet who was able to compete separately in a century already amply supplied with exceptional artists.


Wilfredo Lam
"Composition" 1953
Watercolor and ink, 47 x 61cm


Contact us