Wifredo Lam born 1902 [- 1982]
Oil on canvas, 41 1/8 x 34 1/2 (104 x 88)
Purchased from the artist through the ICA (Knapping Fund) 1952
Exh: Wifredo Lam, ICA, London, April 1952 (12) as 'Ibayé' 1950
Repr: Max-Pol Fouchet, Wifredo Lam (Paris 1976), pl.435 (dated 1947)
The artist said on 8 October 1970 that the title 'Ibaye' is related to the Voodoo cult and is probably the name of an important mystic personage, though he cannot remember its exact significance or whether it is of African or South American origin.
A possible source is the Ewe (Dahomeyan) word 'baye', meaning witch or witchcraft.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.405, reproduced p.405