High Museum to shine light on modernist Wifredo Lam in early 2015

"Le Sombre Malembo, Dieu du carrefour" (1943) will be included in the exhibit "Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds," which will be on view at the High Museum of Art from Feb. 14 through May 24, 2015. The painting embodies Lam's quintessential style, combining Afro-Cuban-inspired imagery and themes related to the tropical landscape of Cuba.

“Le Sombre Malembo, Dieu du carrefour” (1943) will be included in the exhibit “Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds,” which will be on view at the High Museum of Art from Feb. 14 through May 24, 2015. The painting embodies Lam’s quintessential style, combining Afro-Cuban-inspired imagery and themes related to the tropical landscape of Cuba.

Cuban-born modernist painter Wifredo Lam is not as well-known as some of the artists and writers who served as his inspirations, including Pablo Picasso, André Breton, Federico García Lorca, Alejo Carpentier and Gabriel García Márquez. An exhibit coming to the High Museum of Art next February seeks to remedy that.

The High announced on Monday that it will host the retrospective “Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds,” featuring more than 40 paintings, as well as a selection of drawings, prints and ephemera.

Lam (1902-1982), who studied in Madrid and worked in pre-World War II Paris before returning to Cuba, is considered a key figure of the surrealist movement. Yet he is appreciated in the U.S. mainly by the cognoscente.

“In spite of the fact that Lam is one of the most influential artists of the latter half of the 20th century, his work is rarely displayed in North America,” High curator Michael Rooks said. “This exhibition will be a revelation for audiences and will help cultivate a broader understanding of the importance of Latin America, and cross-cultural influences, in the history of modern art.”

The works reveal important influences on the career of Lam, born to a Chinese father and a mother of African and Spanish descent, from the European literary and artistic avant-garde to African art.

Organized by Boston College’s McMullen Museum of Art, it will be on view here from Feb. 14 to May 24, 2015.


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