wifredo lam - portrait

Wifredo Lam

(1902-1982)

Wifredo Lam was a Cuban artist who developed close ties to the surrealist movement and artists in the Cobra group. Profoundly shaped by his native country, Lam created a unique body of work that married the audacity of Western avant-garde painting and imagery from African and Caribbean cultures.

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The afro-cuban painter’s early life

Wifredo Lam was born on 8 December 1902 in the city of Sagua La Grande in a sugar farming region of Cuba. Lam’s mother was of mixed race—of Hispano-Congolese origin—and his father had immigrated to Cuba from China. The young artist grew up in a modest and open-minded family: his father, who ran a small business, was a literate man who mastered the art of calligraphy. As a child, Lam found himself at a crossroads between religions and civilisations, growing up in a culture that mixed monotheism and ancestor worship, Catholicism and the animist rites of African traditions.

Lam spent his childhood immersed in a green, tropical and lush sugar cane region—an “ocean of sugar cane” that would profoundly affect his sensibilities as an artist. Describing his childhood, the artist said: “When I was very young, I was surrounded by my little jungle…”. Lam realised his calling as an artist at around the age of seven, when he began drawing, producing landscapes and portraits. The young Lam discovered the masters—Leonardo da Vinci, Velasquez, Goya, Gauguin and Delacroix—by looking through black and white reproductions of art books he was able to get hold of.

Wifredo Lam arrived in Havana in 1916 to study law but went on to enrol at the San Alejandro fine arts school (the Escuela Profesional de Pintura y Escultura de San Alejandro) in 1918—where he mainly drew and produced portraits. Talking about his early work, Lam said: “There was an element of Chardin in what I did as a youth. As far as I can remember, the paintings I was trying to make were never brutal. (…) For I carry within me a Chinese heritage and a Cuban heritage and this counts enormously.” In 1923, Lam exhibited his first paintings at the Fine Arts Salon of Havana, after which he was invited to present his work in his home town. The event was a huge success, prompting the city council of Sagua La Grande to award him a grant to pursue his studies in Europe.

The painter Wifredo Lam in Europe

Arriving in Madrid towards the end of 1923, Wifredo Lam made the acquaintance of Fernando Álvarez de Sotomayor, the Director of the Prado and an official portraitist. Álvarez de Sotomayor encouraged Lam to enrol at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes San Fernando, but Lam was soon disappointed by the traditionally academic climate at the academy, which was far from the modernity he was looking for. He turned to the Prado for inspiration, studying and reproducing works by masters of painting such as El Greco, Velázquez, Bosch and Dürer. He sent the copies to La Sagua Grande to justify his scholarship.

In Madrid, Lam also enrolled in private classes at the Escuela Libre de Paijase founded by Julio Moises, which drew on the support of other non-conformist painters such as Benjamín Palencia, Francisco Bores and Salvador Dalí. With Cuba in political turmoil, Lam lost his scholarship and had to work as a portraitist for aristocratic circles in Madrid to support himself.

Lam also visited Cuenca in Spain’s Castilla la Mancha region at the invitation of his friend Fernando Rodríguez Muñoz. Perched on a rocky spur in the mountains, the small Medieval town populated by poor peasants struck a chord with the Cuban painter, who was inspired to create a number of new works. Lam settled there for a while, sharing his studio and mixing with local artists and bohemian intellectuals—including the painters Vázquez Díaz and Santiago Rusiñol. For the first time, the artist experienced creative exchange in an artistic community.

Then Lam heard about Surrealism—a new movement just emerging in France at the time—and began to try his hand at automatic drawing. In 1929, Lam discovered works of art by Spanish painters living in Paris at an exhibition at the Jardín Botánico in Madrid. He was particularly struck by those by Pablo Picasso.

It was around this time that Lam experienced a political awakening, a revelation that made him want to convey what he described as “a general democratic proposition […] for all people…” with his art. Wifredo Lam then married Eva Piriz, with whom he had a son—Wifredo Victor—but both mother and child died of tuberculosis in 1931. The loss, combined with the great economic recession that was shaking the world, plunged Lam into a period of despair. Lam continued to paint portraits in order to earn a living and the loss of his wife and child inspired him to create a series of paintings of mothers and children.

Following the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, the Cuban painter Wifredo Lam became politically active and joined the Republican forces in their fight against Franco. It was during this period that Lam painted La Guerra civil. In the midst of the Spanish conflict, Lam left Spain to live in Paris. It was in the French capital that the artist met Pablo Picasso . The meeting was an aesthetic revelation for Lam and marked the beginnings of a profound friendship between the two artists. Lam’s friendship with Picasso also connected him to avant-garde artists such as Georges Braque, Henri Matisse and Joan Miró, as well as art critics such as Michel Leiris and Christian Zervos. The Cuban artist also met a number of art dealers such as Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, and above all Pierre Loeb—from the Galerie Pierre—who organised his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1939.

WIFREDO LAM IN EXILE, BETWEEN CUBA AND THE UNITED STATES

The Cuban painter Wifredo Lam was also associated with the surrealist group of artists, with whom he became particularly close. The artist developed strong ties with the group in Marseille when they were brought together in the city in 1940. Fleeing the war and waiting to go into exile in the United States, various artists gathered at the Villa Air Bel around André Breton, including Pierre Mabille, René Char, Max Ernst, Victor Brauner, Oscar Domínguez and André Masson. The Villa Air Bel became a place of artistic experimentation and Lam started to draw hybrid figures in ink in a foreshadowing of his later work in Cuba in the 1940s. In March 1941, the painter Wifredo Lam and his second wife Helena Holzer embarked with some 300 artists and intellectuals—including André Breton and Claude Lévi-Strauss—on a voyage to Martinique. On their arrival, however, they were forced to make a stop in Les Trois-Îlets , where Lam met Aimé Césaire, with whom he formed a deep friendship.

After an absence of nearly twenty years, Lam then made his way back to Cuba. The painter immersed himself in the culture of his native island, pursuing his artistic investigations by drawing on the Afro-Cuban culture he came from. Lam’s stay in Cuba marked a particularly prolific period for the artist, who painted more than a hundred paintings during his time on the island, including La Jungla. Described as “delirious vegetation” by Leiris, the work caused a scandal when it was exhibited at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, which regularly presented Lam’s work during the 1940s.

Lam’s paintings were also presented at a number of major exhibitions of Latin American painting in the United States during the 1940s, such as: The Latin American Collection of The Museum of Modern Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1943; Pictures by Two Cubans: Carreño and Lam at the Institute of Modern Art in Boston in the same year; and Lam, Matta: The Latin American Spirit at the Arts Club in Chicago in 1944.

During the course of a stay in Haiti in 1946, Lam continued to heighten his artistic investigations, developing his work by drawing on Haitian culture for inspiration. Having explored Afro-Cuban rituals in Cuba, Lam attended voodoo ceremonies in Haiti in the company of André Breton and Pierre Mabille. Such experiences broadened Lam’s horizons as an artist. Talking about his trip to Haiti, Lam said, “It is often assumed that my work took its final form in Haiti, but my stay there, like the trips I made to Venezuela, Colombia or to the Brazilian Mato Grosso only broadened its scope. I could have been a good painter from the School of Paris, but I felt like a snail out of its shell. What really broadened my painting was the presence of African poetry.”

The year 1947 represented an important artistic juncture for Lam, whose work became increasingly marked by the influence of Oceanic art and African art, as well as a more pronounced and frequent presence of esoteric elements.

From the late 1940s onwards, Lam split his time between Cuba, New York and Europe. Many artists had migrated to New York during the Second World War, including surrealist artists such as André Masson and Yves Tanguy. Lam was reunited there with Marcel Duchamp and also met a number of important figures in the city’s art scene, such as Jeanne Reynal, James Johnson Sweeney and Isamu Noguchi. Lam also made contact with members of the American Abstract Expressionist movement such as Arshile Gorky, Robert Motherwell and Jackson Pollock, as well as Asger Jorn and other artists in the Cobra group. During their visits to New York, Lam and his wife were welcomed by Pierre and Teeny Matisse and the artist Jeanne Reynal, who received the couple at their homes.

WIFREDO LAM, ALBISSOLA AND THE COBRA MOVEMENT

Throughout the 1950s, Wifredo Lam developed close ties with the Cobra movement, the Italian avant-garde and the international Situationist movement. In 1954, the Cuban painter met the poets Gherasim Luca and Alain Jouffroy. Lam was invited—with Cobra artists, among others—to take part in the International Meeting of Sculpture and Ceramics in Albissola, Italy. He attended the meeting alongside Karel Appel, Enrico Baj and Corneille, as well as Lucio Fontana and Roberto Matta . The small village of Albissola on Italy’s Ligurian coast became a gathering point for international artistic experimentation during the 1960s. In 1964, Lam even set up a studio in his house in Albissola Marina, dividing his time from then on between Paris and Italy. Divorced from Helena, Lam married the Swedish artist Lou Laurin in 1960.

The 1960s were also marked by the artist’s considerable production of engravings. Lam shared a special relationship with numerous poets and writers and printmaking was the medium through which he collaborated with them. Working with writers such as Aimé Césaire, André Breton, René Char, Alain Jouffroy and Michel Leiris, the artist produced large-format portfolios of prints, in collaboration with print studios such as Broder, Mathieu and Upiglio, to illustrate their collections of poems. Lam’s published works include Le voyage de l’arbre by Hubert Juin (1960), Le rempart de brindilles by René Char (1963), Apostroph’Apocalypse by Gherasim Luca (1965) and L’Antichambre de la Nature by Alain Jouffroy (1966). Lam continued to collaborate with the master engraver Giorgio Upiglio—from the studio Grafica Uno in Milan—all the way up to the artist’s death in 1982.

International acclaim for Wifredo Lam’s work

The Cuban painter Wifredo Lam soon won international acclaim for his work, his pieces presented in art galleries and museums all around the world. Exhibited in the United States, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Norway, Sweden, England, Russia and Czechoslovakia, Lam received many awards—including the Grand Prize at the Havana Salon in 1951 and the Guggenheim International Award in 1964.

Lam also took part in a number of major international art events, such as Documenta II and III in Kassel  in 1959 and 1964, the Venice Biennale in 1972, and the Salón de Mayo in 1967—at which the collective work Cuba Colectiva was created.
Numerous retrospectives of Lam’s work were presented in the years that followed, including a monographic exhibition that travelled from the Kunsthalle in Basel to the Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hanover, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels between 1966 and 1967. A touring retrospective of painter’s work also travelled from the Museo Nacional de Arte Contemporáneo in Madrid to the Museum of Ixelles in Brussels and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris between 1982 and 1983.

After a stroke in August 1978, Wifredo Lam found himself partially paralysed and dependent on a wheelchair. Lam died in Paris in 1982—at the same moment that his touring retrospective was starting in Madrid. A state funeral was held for the artist in Cuba.

© Diane de Polignac Gallery
Translation: Lucy Johnston

wifredo lam - photo atelier

Selected collections

Selected collections

Amstelveen, Cobra Museum of Modern Art

Barcelona, Fundació Joan Miró

London, Tate Modern

Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía

New York, NY, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

Paris, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou

Paris, Musée Dapper

Selected exhibitions

Selected exhibitions

Salón de Bellas Artes, Havana, 1923

Solo exhibition, La Sociedad-Círculo de Cultura y Recreos, Sagua La Grande (Cuba), 1923

Solo exhibition, Galería Vilches, Madrid, 1928

Federación ibérica de artistas pintores, Museo de Arte Moderno, Madrid, 1931

Solo exhibition, Círculo de Arte, Léon (Spain), 1932

IVa Exposición colectiva de arte, El Salón Permanente de Arte, León (Spain), 1932

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Pierre, Paris, 1939, 1946

Drawings by Picasso and Gouaches by Wifredo Lam, Perls Galleries, New York, 1939

Solo exhibitions, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1950, 1982

First Papers of Surrealism, group exhibition, Whitelaw Reid Mansion, New York, 1942

The Latin American Collection of The Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1943

Pictures by Two Cubans: Carreño and Lam, the Institute of Modern Art, Boston, 1943

Group exhibitions, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1967

Lam, Matta: The Latin American Spirit, the Arts Club, Chicago, 1944

Les peintres modernes cubains, Centre d’Art Gallery, Port-au-Prince (Haiti), 1945

Les peintres de Paris, Picasso, Miró, Lam, UNESCO, Paris, 1946

Group exhibition, Galerie Pierre, Paris, 1946

Solo exhibition, Centre d’Art, 25th exhibition of the Centre d’Art, Port-au-Prince (Haiti), 1946

The Cuban Painter Wifredo Lam, Twenty Drawings, the London Gallery Bookshop, London, 1946

Le Surréalisme en 1947, Galerie Maeght, Paris; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 1947

40,000 Years of Modern Art: A Comparison of Primitive and Modern, Academy Hall, the Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 1948–1949

Lam, obras recientes 1950, Parque Central, Havana, 1951

Salon Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado, Havana, 1951

Lam y nuestro tiempo, París 1938-1951 La Habana, Galería Sociedad Nuestro Tiempo, Havana, 1952

L’Œuvre du XXe siècle, peintures-sculptures, Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, 1952

Wifredo Lam, Institute of Contemporary Art, London, 1953

Lam, peintures récentes, Galerie Maeght, Paris, 1955

Wifredo Lam, Universidad de La Habana, Pabellón de Ciencias Sociales, Havana, 1955

Lam, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, 1955

Wifredo Lam, Instituto Venezolano-Francés, Caracas, 1955

Wifredo Lam, Colibri Gallery, Malmö (Sweden), 1955

Wifredo Lam, oleos 37-39, obras recientes 56-57, gouaches, pasteles, dibujos, litografías, grabados, collages, Centro de Bellas Artes, Maracaibo (Venezuela), 1957

Exposition de dessins de Wifredo Lam, Galerie Cahiers d’Art, Paris, 1957

Some Recent Gifts, group exhibition, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1959

Contemporary Drawings of Latin America, OAS Headquarters, Washington, D.C., 1959

Documenta II, Kassel (Germany), 1959; Documenta III, Kassel (Germany), 1964

The United States Collects Pan-American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, 1959

Solo exhibitions, Galleria Pagani del Grattacielo, Milan, 1959, 1960

Wifredo Lam, pastelli e guaches 1953-60, Galleria del Disegno, Milan, 1960

Pintura Contemporánea en Cuba, Museu de Arte Moderna, São Paulo, 1960

Wifredo Lam, University of Notre-Dame Art Gallery, Notre Dame (Indiana), 1961

Wifredo Lam, Galleria dell’Obelisco, Rome, 1961

Wifredo Lam, Galerie La Cour d’Ingres, Paris, 1961

Solo exhibition, Galleria il Canale, Venice, 1961

Solo exhibitions, Galerie La Cour d’Ingres, Paris, 1961, 1974–75, 1976

Wifredo Lam, Galerie D. Benador, Geneva, 1962

Wifredo Lam, oleos, temperas y dibujos, Galería de La Habana, Havana; Cienfuegos; Santiago de Cuba , 1962

Lam, dipinti, pastelli, acqueforti, presentation of the series Images, Galleria L’Annunciata, Milan , 1962

Lam, Paintings from 1938 to 1962, Albert Loeb Gallery, New York, 1962

Wifredo Lam: A Decade 1942-1952, Oils, Gouaches, Drawings, Graphics, Pyramid Galleries, Washington, D.C., 1963

Wifredo Lam. Catalogue Suites, no. 3, Galerie Jan Krugier, Geneva, 1963

Wifredo Lam, aguafuertes, Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, Havana; Cienfuegos; Camagüey; Matanzas, 1963

Wifredo Lam, œuvres gravées : eaux-fortes et lithographies 1954-1963, Galleria Pescetto-Arte Contemporanea, Albissola (Italy), 1963

Exposizione Latino-americana, Palazzo Callicola, Sala Wifredo Lam, Spoleto (Italy), 1963

Aguafuertes de Lam, Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, 1964

Artistes latino-américains de Paris, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1965

Lam, oleos y aguafuertes, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, 1966

Wifredo Lam, Andersen Gallery, Malmö (Sweden), 1966

Wifredo Lam Malerei, Vic Gentils Bildhauerei, touring exhibition: Kunsthalle, Basel; Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 1966–1967

Wifredo Lam Malerei, Vic Gentils Bildhauerei, Kunsthalle, Basel, 1966–1967

Dix Ans d’art vivant 1955-1965, Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul-de-Vence (France), 1967

Lumière et Mouvement, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1967

Salon de Mai, Paris, 1967; Salon de Mayo, Pabellón de Cuba, Havana; Museo Bacardí, Santiago (Cuba), 1967

Expo’ 67, Cuban Pavilion/French Pavilion/United States Pavilion, Montreal, 1967

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Albert Loeb, Paris, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1987

Wifredo Lam Etchings, Montreal School of Fine Arts, Montreal, 1967

Totems et Tabous, Lam, Matta, Penalba, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1968

Wifredo Lam, Œlbilder, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, Frankfurter Kunstkabinett Hanna Bekker Vom Rath, Frankfurt, 1969

Lam on Paper, Cisneros Gallery, New York, 1969

Twentieth Century Art from the Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1969

Contemporary Art Dialogue Between the East and the West, the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, 1970

Wifredo Lam, Gimpel Gallery, London; New York; Zurich, 1970–1971

Lam, sculptures, Galerie Tronche, Paris, 1972

Surrealism, Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Gothenburg; Sundsvall; Malmö, 1972

Le Surréalisme 1922-1942, touring exhibition: Haus der Kunst, Munich; Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1972

Venice Biennale, Venice, 1972

Lam, Galerie de Zwarte Panter, Antwerp, 1974

Wifredo Lam, Pleni Luna, A. H. Grafik Gallery, Stockholm, 1974

Kunst van de 20° Eeuw, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, 1974

Phases entre deux octobres : 1964-1974, Museum of Ixelles, Brussels; Museum Van Elsene, Brussels, 1974

Surrealist Masters, the Surrealist Art Centre, London, 1974

Lam, pastelli e opere grafiche di Wifredo Oscar de la Concepción Lam y Castilla, Delta International Art Center, Rome, 1975

Wifredo Lam ceramiche, acqueforti, lithografie, Museo Della Ceramica, Albissola (Italy), 1975

Wifredo Lam, Galleria della Grafica Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, 1975

Wifredo Lam, ceramiche, bronzi, serigrafie a gran Fuoco, Studio Circolo d’Arte il Forno, Albissola (Italy), 1976

Wifredo Lam, Estudio Actual Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Caracas, 1976

Wifredo Lam: olis, aiguades i obra gravada, Galería Joan Prats, Barcelona, 1976

Maestros latinoamericanos, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico, 1976

Paris-New York, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1976

Litografías 1973-1976, Libros, Wifredo Lam, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, 1977

Wifredo Lam, Artek Gallery, Helsinki, 1977

Wifredo Lam, touring exhibition: Ordrupgaard, Charlottenlund (Denmark); Sonja Henie, Niels Onstad Foundation, Høvikkoden (Norway), 1978

Wifredo Lam, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bosque de Chapultepec, Mexico, 1978–1979

Wifredo Lam, La Jungle, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1979

L’Aventure de Pierre Loeb, la Galerie Pierre, Paris 1924-1964, touring exhibition: Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris; Museum of Ixelles, Brussels, 1979

Wifredo Lam, Grand Palais, FIAC, Galerie Michel Delorme, Paris, 1981

Paris 1937-Paris 1957, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris, 1981

Les Fruits de l’exil, hommage à Lam, Grand Palais, Paris, 1982

In Memorian Wifredo Lam, Sala Thalia, Paramaribo (Suriname), 1982

Wifredo Lam, 1902-1982, touring exhibition: Museo Nacional de Arte Contemporáneo, Madrid; Museum of Ixelles, Brussels; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, 1982–1983

La Rime et la Raison, les collections Ménil, Houston-New York, Grand Palais, Paris, 1984

“Primitivism” in 20th Century Art. Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern, touring exhibition: the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Detroit; Dallas, 1984

In the Mind’s Eye, Dada and Surrealism, Dada and Surrealism in Chicago Collections, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1984–1985

Wifredo Lam 1925-1927, in homage to Wifredo Lam in Cuenca, Junta de Communidades de Castilla-La Manche, Cuenca (Spain), 1985

Wifredo Lam 1902-1982, Galeria Krzysztofory and Galeria Sztuki Latyno-amerykanskiej, Krakow, 1985

Wifredo Lam, pintura y obra gráfica 1938-1976, touring exhibition: 18th São Paulo Biennale, Cuban Pavilion (Wifredo Lam Room), São Paulo; Museo Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Montevideo; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá ; Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, 1985–1987

Wifredo Lam, Cuban Cultural Centre, Prague, 1986

São Paulo Biennales, São Paulo, 1986, 1996

Wifredo Lam, peintures, Galerie Maeght Lelong, Paris, 1987

Wifredo Lam, Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje (Macedonia), 1987

Tres obras maestras de Wifredo Lam, Museo Rufino Tamayo, Mexico, 1987

La Femme et le Surréalisme, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 1987

Fifty Years of Collecting: An Anniversary Selection, Painting since World War II, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1987

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Lelong, Paris, 1988, 1990, 1991

Wifredo Lam, touring exhibition: Kunstsammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Düsseldorf; Kunstverein, Hamburg, 1988–1989

Wifredo Lam, œuvres de Cuba, Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris, 1989

Wifredo Lam. Aguafuertes y litografía, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, 1989–1990

Solo exhibitions, Galerie Lelong, New York, 1990, 1992, 1996

Anxious Visions: Surrealist Art, University Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, 1990

Gráfica de Wifredo Lam, Istituto Italo-Latino-Americano, Rome, 1991

Wifredo Lam desconocido, Casa de Las Américas, Cuarta Bienal de La Habana, Havana, 1991

Wifredo Lam, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, 1991

Wifredo Lam, touring exhibition in China: Central Institute of Fine Arts, Beijing; Palace of Fine Arts, Shanghai; Institute of Fine Arts, Hangzhou; Institute of Fine Arts, Guangzhou; Art Center, Hong Kong, 1991–1992

André Breton, La beauté convulsive, touring group exhibition: Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, 1991

Wifredo Lam, obras desde 1938 hasta 1975, de regreso al Caribe, Arsenal de la Puntilla, San Juan (Puerto Rico), 1992

Grabados de Wifredo Lam, Teatro Nacional, Havana, 1992

Wifredo Lam, obras sobre papel, Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, 1992–1993

Wifredo Lam: A Retrospective of Works on Paper, Americas Society, New York; Wifredo Lam, obra sobre paper, Fundació La Caixa, Barcelona, 1992–1993

Wifredo Lam, touring exhibition: Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 1992–1993

Wifredo Lam ou l’Éloge du Métissage, touring exhibition: Villa Médicis, Rome; Palazzo de La Permanente, Milan, 1992–1993

Wifredo Lam and his Contemporaries 1938-1952, the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, 1992–1993

Crosscurrents of Modernism, Four Latin American Pioneers: Diego Rivera, Joaquín Torres-García, Wifredo Lam, Matta, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., 1992

Wifredo Lam, Grafik, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, 1993

Wifredo Lam en la Colección Castillo, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, 1993

Lateinamerika und der Surrealismus, Bochum Museum, Bochum (Germany), 1993

Wifredo Lam, Musée du Dessin et de l’Estampe Originale de Gravelines, Gravelines (France), 1993–1994

Wifredo Lam, œuvre gravé et lithographié, Maison de l’Amérique Latine, Paris, 1994

Wifredo Lam y la aventura del grabado, Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes “Emiliano Guiñazu”, Casa Fader, Mendoza (Argentina), 1994

Wifredo Lam, Pasión y Magia sobre Papel, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires; Santiago (Chile), 1995

Wifredo Lam. La seducción del grabado, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, 1996

Cuba siglo XX, modernidad y sincretismo, touring group exhibition in Spain: Centro Antlantico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas de la Gran Canaria; Fundació La Caixa, Palma de Mallorca; Centre d’Art Santa Monica, Barcelona, 1996

Surrealism: Two Private Eyes, The Nesuhi Ertegun and Daniel Filipacchi Collections, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1999

Varian Fry et les candidats à l’exil, Marseille 1940-1941, Mona Bismarck Foundation, Paris, 1999

La Aventura de la creación, Obra sobre papel, 1938-1947, Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, VII Bienal de La Habana, Havana, 2000

Les surréalistes en exil et les débuts de l’école de New York, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, 2000

Le surréalisme, une révolution 1922-1944. Hommage à Max Ernst, Centro Saint-Benin, Aoste (Italy), 2000

Surrealism, desire unbound, Tate Modern, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2001

Lam métis, Musée Dapper, Paris, 2001–2002

Wifredo LamWifredo Lam. Imágenes desde el grabado, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo, Havana, 2001–2002

Wifredo Lam, Testaments intimes, Agora, Conseil Régional de La Martinique, Fort-de-France (Martinique), 2002

La Révolution surréaliste, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, 2002

Wifredo Lam: The Changing Image, Centennial Exhibition, Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama (Japan), 2002–2003

Wifredo Lam: un percoso Cuba – Italia, Refettorio delle Stelline, Milan, 2002–2003

Wifredo Lam, de lo circunscrito y lo eterno, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, 2002–2003

Lam, la ceramica e i totem, Museo Civico di Arte Contemporanea, Albissola Marina; Grafica, Galleria del Bostrico, Albissola Marina; Momenti di vita, Circolo degli Artisti, Albissola Marina (Italy), 2002–2003

Wifredo Lam. Cartografía íntima, touring exhibition of Spain: Madrid, La Coruña, Tenerife, Cuenca, Santillana del Mar, Salamanca, 2003–2004

Wifredo Lam, Casa de Andrés Laguna, Segovia (Spain), 2004

Wifredo Lam, Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Wifredo Lam, Havana, 2004

Wifredo Lam, l’urgence poétique, L’Artchipel, Basse-Terre (Guadeloupe); Centre des Arts, Pointe-à-Pitre (Guadeloupe), 2004

The Pierre and Maria-Gaetana Matisse Collection, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2004–2005

La dona, metamorfosi de la modernitat, Fundació Joan Miró, Barcelona, 2004–2005

Wifredo Lam, los años decisivos, Centro Cultural del Convenion Andrés Bello, Bogota, 2005

Lam et les poètes, Musée Campredon, Maison René Char, L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (France), 2005

Wifredo Lam. Cartografía íntima, Instituto Cervantes, Alcalá de Henares (Spain); Instituto Cervantes, Brussels, 2006

Un viaje por la obra de Wifredo Lam, Centro de Arte Martha Machado, Nueva Gerona (Cuba), 2006

El último viaje del buque fantasma, Museo Provincial, Cienfuegos (Cuba), 2006

Wifredo Lam, El Ojo del tigre, Museo de Bellas Artes Gravina, Valencia (Spain), 2006

Wifredo Lam. Cartografia intima (1936-1959), Raccolte Frugone, Villa Grimaldi Fassio, Genoa (Italy), 2006

Wifredo Lam in North America, touring exhibition in the United States: Haggerty Museum of Art, Milwaukee; Miami Art Museum, Miami; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach; St. Petersburg  (FL), 2007–2008

Cuba art et histoire de 1868 à nos jours, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, 2008–2009

Wifredo Lam, L’esperit de la creació 1939-1976, Fundació Caixa, Girona, 2009

Lam: a obra gráfica, Caixa Cultural Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro; Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paolo, 2009–2010

Aimé Césaire, Lam, Picasso “Nous nous sommes trouvés”, Grand Palais, Paris, 2011

Les musées sont des mondes, J.M.G Le Clézio, Musée de Louvre, Paris, 2011–2012

L’Europe des Esprits ou la fascination de l’occulte, 1750-1950, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, 2011–2012

Wifredo Lam, 1902-1982, voyages entre caraïbes et avants-gardes, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes, 2012

La Triennale 2012 “Intense proximité”, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, 2012

Approaching Surrealism, Basil & Elise Goulandris Foundation, Andros (Greece), 2012

Dialogues d’outre-mer, Résonnances Kanak autour d’Annonciation, Centre Tjibaou, Nouméa (New Caledonia), 2014

Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds, Boston College, Boston; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, 2015

Wifredo Lam: O Espírito da Criação, Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba (Brazil), 2015

Wifredo Lam, retrospective, Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2015

Leiris & Co, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Metz, 2015

Wifredo Lam, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, 2016

The Ey Exhibition: Wifredo Lam, Tate Modern, London, 2016

Wifredo Lam and the Poets, Beijing World Art Museum, Beijing, 2016

Postwar: Art Between the Pacific and the Atlantic, 1945-1965, Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2016

Selected bibliography

Selected bibliography

Fernando Ortiz, Wifredo Lam y su obra vista a través de significados críticos, Havana, Publicaciones del Ministerio de Educación, 1950

Jacques Charpier, Lam, Paris, Georges Fall, Musée de Poche, 1960

Michel Leiris, Wifredo Lam, Milan, Fratelli Fabbri, Le Grande Monografie, 1970; New York, Harry N. Abrams, 1972

Yvon Taillandier, Wifredo Lam : dessins, Paris, Denoël, 1970

Alain Jouffroy, Lam, Paris, Georges Fall, Bibli-Opus, 1972

Gérard Xuriguéra, Wifredo Lam, Paris, Filipacchi, 1974

Alain Jouffroy, Le nouveau Nouveau monde de Lam, Pollenza-Macerata, La Nuova Foglio-Altrouno, 1975

Philippe Soupault, Wifredo Lam, Paris, Galilée-Dutrou, 1975

Max-Pol Fouchet, Wifredo Lam, Barcelona, Paris, Poligrafa/Cercle d’Art, 1976; New York, Rizzoli International Publishers, 1978

Gasch Sebastià, Wifredo Lam a París, Barcelona, Poligrafa/Galería Joan Prats, 1976

Lucien Curzi, Wifredo Lam, Bologna, Bora, 1978

Helena H. Benitez, Wifredo Lam : Interlude Marseille, Copenhagen, Edition Bløndal, 1993

Dominique Tonneau-Ryckelynck & Pascaline Dron, Wifredo Lam, oeuvre gravé et lithographié, Catalogue Raisonné, Gravelines, Musée de Gravelines Editions, 1994

Lou Laurin-Lam, Wifredo Lam Catalogue Raisonné of the Painted Work, Vol. I 1923-1960, Lausanne, Acatos, 1996

Helena Benitez, Wifredo and Helena, My Life with Wifredo Lam, 1939-1950, Lausanne, Acatos, 1999

Lowery S. Sims, Wifredo Lam and the International Avant-Garde, 1923-1982, Austin, University of Texas Press, 2002

Lou Laurin-Lam & Eskil Lam, Wifredo Lam Catalogue Raisonné of the Painted Work, Vol. II 1961-1982, Lausanne, Acatos, 2002

José Manuel Noceda Fernández, Wifredo Lam, la cosecha de un brujo, Havana, Letras Cubanas, 2002