Later Years

Wifredo Lam, 'At the End of the Night' 1969

Wifredo Lam, At the End of the Night 1969, oil on canvas, 175 x 215 cm
© SDO Wifredo Lam

In his later years Lam extended his series of paintings on a grand scale, the imagery of which was increasingly individual. Employing his tight graphic outline, he arranged angular hybrid figures in layers, the bright foreground bodies shadowed by dark forms in the shallow space. Responding to the tradition of ceramic production in Albissola, Lam also made terracotta dishes and vases that extended his personal imagery into three dimensions. Most significant was his prolific printmaking, often in collaboration with poets who were longstanding friends.

Impressed by the social ideals of the revolution, Lam returned to Cuba periodically. In 1967 he was instrumental in bringing many participants of the Salon de Mai – an annual avant-garde exhibition held in Paris – to exhibit in Havana, and he contributed to the international cultural congress held there in the following year. His final visits to Havana were for medical treatment following a stroke in 1978.