Tate Modern Exhibition

The EY Exhibition Wifredo Lam

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

Tate Modern

Bankside
London SE1 9TG
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Dates

14 September 2016 – 8 January 2017

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Artist

Wifredo Lam

1902–1982

Glossary of art terms Modernism

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Glossary of art terms Négritude

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Wifredo Lam Room Guide

Read a breakdown of the themes of the exhibition

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Wifredo Lam exhibition catalogue

Dazzlingly illustrated with over 300 works, this beautiful book serves to introduce newcomers to Lam, as well as deepen the understanding of those already familiar with his work

£29.99

Figure, 1939

Enjoy this custom print by one of the most iconic Cuban artists of the twentieth century

from £25.00

Surrealism in Latin America

Almost a century after the first manifestos appeared, this timely volume considers the lasting legacy the movement left

£19.99