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.
Subscribe to the Apollo newsletter
In the news
Celebrating the new, global edition of the Apollo 40 Under 40 at the Garden Museum on Thursday evening
The historic city has suffered major damage, but the worst unkindness we could offer it now is to write it off as ‘destroyed’
The greatest Gothic Revival building in the world is facing catastrophe unless MPs clear out