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Wifredo Lam

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid


A pioneer of cross-cultural painting that infused Western modernism and African and Caribbean symbolism, Wifredo Lam (Sagua La Grande, 1902 – Paris, 1982) was in touch with every avant-garde movement at the time, whilst also addressing world problems. His deeply committed work, exploring the diversity of expression and mediums, from painting to drawing, prints and ceramics, took on the same struggle as his friend Aimé Césaire: ‘to paint the drama of his country, the cause and the spirit of the blacks.’ From an early age, Lam became aware of the issue of race and its social and political implications in Cuba, Europe and later in the USA. He was associated with divergent national, social and culture spheres, but always maintained his distance and avoided falling into roles or the impact of identity imposed upon him, with good intentions, by friends and admirers. Lam invented his own unique and original artistic language to defend the dignity of life and freedom. Read more.

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