Lam y Castilla, Wifredo (1902–1982)

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Lam y Castilla, Wifredo (1902–1982)

Wifredo Lam y Castilla (b. 9 December 1902; d. 11 September 1982), Cuban painter. Born in Sagua la Grande of a Chinese father and mulatto mother, Lam received a scholarship from the town council in 1921 to study in Havana. From 1923 to 1937 he studied in Madrid, and from 1937 to 1939 he worked in Paris with Pablo Picasso and rediscovered his African ancestry. The events of World War II forced Lam to Marseilles in 1939 and out of France in 1941 with a group of three hundred intellectuals who chose exile from the Vichy government. Seven months after leaving France, he returned to Cuba. In 1942–1943, he painted The Jungle, his best-known work. He lived in Paris, New York, and Havana from 1946 to 1964, finally settling in the Italian town of Albissola Marina. In 1966, he returned to Cuba and painted The Third World for display in the Presidential Palace. His works run the gamut from postim-pressionist to surrealist to postcubist styles, yet he never lost his devotion to the African influence. His paintings are unique in depicting African Cuban vodun spirits in a style based on Picasso and West Indian devices. Internationally acclaimed, he stands as Cuba's foremost modern painter.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Max-Pol Fouchet, Wilfredo Lam (1976).

Antonio Núñez Jiménez, Wilfredo Lam (1982).

Antonio Núñez Jiménez Exposición antológica "Homenaje a Wilfredo Lam" 1902–1982, issued by the Museo Nacional de Arte Contemporaneo, Madrid (1982).

Additional Bibliography

Noceda, José Manuel. Wifredo Lam: La cosecha de un brujo. La Habana: Letras Cubanas, 2002.

Sims, Lowery Stokes. Wilfredo Lam: And the International Avant-garde, 1923–1982. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002.

Wilson, Andrew R., ed. The Chinese in the Caribbean. Princeton, NJ: M. Wiener Publishers, 2004.

                          Jacquelyn Briggs Kent

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Lam y Castilla, Wifredo (1902–1982)

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