Zurich and Albissola

In 1960, Lam and the Swedish artist Lou Laurin were married in New York. They settled with their young family in Zurich in the following year, while Lam set up his studio in Albissola. There he began a series of large scale canvases showing stylised and interlocking figures, key early examples of which are displayed in this room.

During the 1960s, Lam’s achievements were celebrated with numerous prizes and culminated in a major exhibition travelling through Europe in 1967. Increasingly, he concentrated on experimenting with different print techniques in collaboration with the Italian master printmaker Giorgio Upiglio in Milan. In 1969, Lam created the Annunciation series in Upiglio’s workshop, although it was not until 1982 that, in declining health, he called upon his old friend Aimé Césaire to dedicate a poem to each Annunciation print. Both Lam’s imagery and Césaire’s poetry are redolent with themes of spirituality and rebirth.