Wifredo Lam

One of the most important Latin American artists of the 20th century, Wifredo Lam developed a unique painting style blending elements of Cubism, Surrealism and Afro-Cuban culture.

During his long stays for training in Europe, Lam was mentored by Pablo Picasso.

He studied under a teacher who had taught Salvador Dalí and developed close ties with avant-garde artists such as Georges Braque, Henri Matisse, and Joan Miró.

Born to a Chinese father from Canton and a mother of mixed African, European and Indian origins, Lam was influenced by the spiritual traditions of Santeria, African masks, and oceanic art.

Many of his paintings are dominated by earthy hues and human-animal-plant hybrid figures with faces like masks. Lam’s works are in the collections of the Tate, the Guggenheim Museum, the Pompidou Centre, and the Reina Sofía Museum.

Although he is best known for his paintings, Lam also made sculptures, drawings, and prints.


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