Wilfredo Lam





Wifredo Lam was a Cuban painter. Wifredo Lam was born the eighth child of an 84-year-old wealthy Chinese merchant and a mother of Afro-European origins. In the early autumn of 1923 he embarked for Spain where he lived for 14 years. In 1929 he married Eva Piris with whom he had a son. In 1931 Eva and her son died of tuberculosis. In 1938 Lam met Pablo Picasso and got to know the friends of the painter Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Henri Matisse, Paul Eluard, Georges Braque). In 1941 he left Europe for Cuba with André Breton who wished to go to New York. But, while he was thinking of finding his island again hometown, he was interned for forty days on a small island in Martinique. In spite of everything, he made the acquaintance of Aimé Césaire with whom he became a friend. After staying on the island for ten years, at the age of fifty, he moved permanently to Paris where he died after spending a period in Italy. He spent long periods in Albissola Marina, sometimes alone, at other times with his Swedish painter wife, at other times with his numerous all male offspring. He had guests with great personalities. For Albissola Marina - who named a square in his name - Wifredo Lam also made a drawing for the creation of a mosaic of the famous Walk of the Artists. In the seventies, RAI made a documentary, which was broadcast many years later on RAI 3. He was credited with being the first non-white artist to boast official recognition within the historiography of Western art. He is considered, together with René Portocarrero, the greatest Cuban artist. He was a member of the movement called "Negrism". Lam's style is the sum of the numerous pictorial currents encountered during his long travels: his works are characterized by traits similar to those of primitive graffiti but also light Cubist influences are mixed, all mixed in a surrealist atmosphere. Lam's most famous and representative painting is The Jungle (1942).