Painting showing an abstracted figure
Booking Closed Tate Modern Exhibition

The EY Exhibition Wifredo Lam

14 September 2016 – 8 January 2017

Wifredo Lam, Horse-headed Woman 1950, oil paint on canvas, The Rudman Trust © SDO Estate of Wifredo Lam

Discover the fascinating career of Wifredo Lam, one of the most iconic Cuban artists of the twentieth-century

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Wifredo Lam’s distinctive style shook the assumptions of western Modernism. His distinctive paintings introduced the symbolism of his Cuban roots and defined a new way of painting for a post-colonial world. As he travelled in Europe and North and South America, he was a witness to twentieth century political upheaval – including the Spanish Civil War, the evacuation of artists and intellectuals from France with the onset of World War II, and the new Cuba borne of the Revolution.

Born in Cuba in 1902, Lam’s mother was of Spanish and African heritage, and his father was Cantonese Chinese. After eighteen years in Europe, Lam returned to Cuba and rediscovered the local African traditions that transformed his work. Closely connected to movements such as Cubism and Surrealism and artists and writers such as Pablo PicassoAndré BretonAsger JornLucio Fontana and Aimé Césaire, his unique work spans continents and traditions.

Wifredo Lam The Sombre Malembo, God of the Crossroads 1943 Private collection (The Rudman Trust) © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam The Sombre Malembo, God of the Crossroads 1943 Private collection (The Rudman Trust) © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam, 'Ibaye' 1950
Wifredo Lam
Ibaye 1950
Tate
© Tate
Wifredo Lam Untitled 1939 Private collection (The Rudman Trust) © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam Untitled 1939 Private collection (The Rudman Trust) © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam The Eternal Present (An Homage to Alejandro García Caturla) 1944 Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, USA) © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam The Eternal Present (An Homage to Alejandro García Caturla) 1944 Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design (Providence, USA) © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam Crossed Hands 1951 Private collection (The Rudman Trust) © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam Crossed Hands 1951 Private collection (The Rudman Trust) © SDO Wifredo Lam

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Throughout his long career, his work addressed themes of social injustice, nature and spirituality, that challenged prevailing attitudes held by western artists about other cultures.

His work continues to bring a historical perspective to contemporary issues. This exhibition celebrates Lam’s life and work and confirms his place at the centre of global art history.

Exhibition organised by the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, in collaboration with Tate Modern, London, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid

Venue

Tate Modern
Bankside
London
SE1 9TG
Plan your visit

Dates

14 September 2016 – 8 January 2017

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