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Wifredo Lam
Birth Date: 
Death Date: 
Born at Sagua la Grande of an Afro-Indian mother and a Chinese father; studied painting at the San Alejandro Academy in La Havana; studied in Madrid in 1923 at the San Fernando Academy; met Picasso in 1938, Breton ca. 1940 and joined the Surrealist association ca. 1940; after 1942 he returned to Cuba and increasingly came under the spell of African and Oceanic sculpture and translated these images into irrational, biomorphic configurations which fused human, animal, and vegetable elements in totemic compositions. Following a visit to Haiti in 1946 he also began incorporating images of Voodoo gods and rites in his work; in 1951 he returned to Paris and thereafter travelled back and forth to New York and Italy.