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The Cuban artist Wifredo Lam trained in Havana before moving to Europe where, in 1939, he joined the Surrealist movement. When the Second World War broke out he returned to Cuba (crossing the Atlantic with André and Jacqueline Breton) and seized the opportunity to re-examine his cultural roots. His paintings were populated with spiritual figures in sacred jungle settings. He later recalled that Ibaye is a word used in Voodoo, probably the name of an important mystical figure. Lam created a new art for the New World from the combination of indigenous Caribbean and West African influences.

December 2005