1902 b. Dec 8th Wifredo Oscar de la Concepcion Lam y Castilla, in Sagua La Grande, Cuba. Cuban Painter; who also worked with sculpture, ceramics and printmaking in his later life. Influenced by Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. He was of mixed-race ancestry: his father, Yam Lam, was a Chinese immigrant and his mother, the former Ana Serafina Castilla, was born to a Congolese former slave mother and a Cuban mulatto father. His godmother, Matonica Wilson, a Santeria -> priestess, locally celebrated as a healer and sorceress, exposed him to the rites of the African orishas. His contact with African celebrations and spiritual practices proved to be his largest artistic influence.
==1920's== ==1930's== ==1940's== ==1950's== ==Later Life== 1916 Family settles in Havana. Studies law tropical plants at the Botanical Gardens. 1918 - 1923 He studied painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes. ==1920's== 1923 Scholarship to study in Madrid under Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor y Zaragoza, curator of the Museo del Prado and teacher of Salvador Dali. Interested in primitive art. Inspirations Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel. 1925 Summer spent in Cuenca - Map ~>. There he painted landscapes with his friend Jaume Serra Aleu ~>. 1929 married Eva Piriz. ==1930's== 1931 Eva and child die of tuberculosis. Paints numerous mother and child works. Travels throughout Spain. Influenced by Surrealists and Henri Matisse.
Shares Madrid studio with Juli Ramis ~>.
Mixes with Azorin (José Martinez Ruiz), Ramon del Valle-Inclan ~>, Jorge Guillén ~> Federico Garcia Lorca, Mario Carreño ~>, Miguel Ángel Asturias ~>. 1936 Joins Republican forces at beginning of civil war, making posters and propaganda. Works in a munitions factory. Befriends Raoul Ubac, Oscar Dominguez, Georges Bataille, and Chaim Soutine ->. 1937 Injured in Madrid, sent to Barcelona met a German chemist Helena Holzerand Manolo Hugue who gives him a letter of introduction to Pablo Picasso, whose work had previously inspired him. ''La Guerra Civil ~>. 1938 Moves to Paris with Helena Holzer. Picasso introduces him to Fernand Leger, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Joan Miro and to Pierre Loeb -> a Parisian art dealer. 1939 One-man show at Loeb's, also exhibits with Picasso at Perls Galleries in New York. ==1940's== 1940 Photo ~> with Helena. Moves to Bordeaux then Marseilles. Contacts Varian Fry. Frequents Villa Air-Bel and participates in Surrealist games. Illustrates Andre Breton's poem Fata Morgana, banned by the Vichy government. Officially joins Surrealists. Designs card for Marseille Card Game together with Andre Breton, Oscar Dominguez, Victor Brauner, Max Ernst, Jacques Herold, Andre Masson, Jacqueline Lamba and (Frederic Delanglade not used). 1941 Jan: Illustrates ~> Breton’s poem Fata Morgana. Feb 18th. embarks for Martinique with Helena on same boat as Breton and his family and Victor Serge Briefly interned with Breton in Martinique meets Aime Cesaire. May 16th. Continued on to Dominican Republic with the Bretons June 12th departs with Helena for Cuba. 1943 La Jungla
and Malembo, The God of the Crossroads
1944 m. Helena. 1946 Visits Haiti for four months with Andre Breton and Pierre Mabille. attending Voodoo ceremonies. Vistits New York. Renews friendship with Marcel Duchamp and meets members of COBRA?. 1947 Provides original artwork for the catalogue of Le Surrealisme en 1947 or Please Touch at Galerie Maeght, Paris. ==1950's== 1950 Separated from Helena. worked together with Rene Portocarrero -> and others in the village of Santaigo de las Vegas, 20km south of Havana. Zanbezia, zambezia.
1952 Divorces Helena, returns to Paris. 1955 Exhibits in Havana University to show support for the student protests against Batista's dictatorship. Cover final edition of Medium ~>. ==Later Life== 1960 established a studio in Albisola Mare in Italy; settling with his wife Lou Laurin ->, and their three sons. 1964 Awarded the Guggenheim International Award. 1965 Painting The Third World for the Cuban presidential palace. Encouraged by Asger Jorn -> he began to experiment with ceramics. 1975? First ceramic exhibition. He progressed to model sculptures and cast in metal in his twilight years. 1978? A stroke confines him to a wheelchair. 1982 d. September 11th. Paris. See bio -> and criticism (Sp). -> and by Helena ->. See video -> and Inventing Wifredo Lam ->. See Forgery problems -> and Tate Man of the World ~>. See Timeline