Wifredo Lam

Wilfredo Lam was primarily a painter but also worked with sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking in his later life. Born in Cuba, he was influenced by Afro-Cuban culture and artists like Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Frida Kahlo. Lam fused elements of Cubism and Surrealism with African culture in his paintings. During his return to Havana, he developed what would become a recurring character in his work: a hybrid figure that is part human, part animal, and part vegetable. One of his most well-known works, The Jungle, was produced during this period, depicting four figures with mask-like faces in vegetation.

Lam received the Guggenheim International Award in 1964 and in 1966–67 there were multiple retrospectives of Lam’s work at the Kunsthalle Basel, the Kestner-Gesellschaft in Hannover, the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels.