Wifredo Lam Biography

Sagua la Grande, Cuba 8 Dec, 1902 - Paris, 11 Sept 1982

Cuban painter, printmaker and sculptor, best known for his own style of art, created by fusing Surrealism and Cubism styles with the colors and forms of the Caribbean.

In 1916, after his move to Havana, he began making studies of the tropical plants in the Botanical Gardens while studying law at the local university. He eventually changed to painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes (1918 to 1923) and moved to Spain (1923 - 1938).

While in Madrid, he trained under the reactionary painter Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor, curator of the Prado Museum , who was also the teacher of Salvador Dali.

His early paintings were in the Spanish REALIST style, but over time his art became simplified and decorative.

Between 1942 and 1950, the artist exhibited at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York. In 1960, Lam began working at a studio in Albisola Mare, on the Italian coast. In 1964, he received the Guggenheim International Award, and during 1966-67 there were multiple retrospectives of his work at major museums, like the Kunsthalle Basel; the Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hannover; the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.

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