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115th Birthday Celebration for Wifredo Lam | Art Galleries

Friday
Dec 8, 2017
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Zoellner Arts Center - Main Gallery
420 East Packer Avenue
Bethlehem PA 18015

Alexandria Wismer
610-758-6880
alw414@lehigh.edu

Please join us for Wifredo Lam's 115th birthday celebration and the closing reception of the exhibition "The Drawings of Wifredo Lam: 1940-1955. From the personal collection of Juan Castillo Vázquez". Food and beverages will be provided.

Wifredo Lam (1902-1982) is Cuba’s most internationally acclaimed 20th century artist. Lam was a descendant of Cuban, Chinese and West African heritage. As a child, he witnessed the hallucinatory mixture of Catholic ritual and African rites that characterizes Cuban Santería. Throughout his life, these visions would continue to stir his imagination. In Europe, Lam became part of the inner circles of modernism and surrealism alongside Pablo Picasso, André Breton, and Joan Miró. With the onset of WWII in the early 1940s, Wifredo Lam, various artists, and other members of the intellectual elite, fled Europe for the Americas and the Caribbean.

Returning to his birthplace after nearly a twenty-year absence, Lam immersed himself in the culture of his homeland. His work evolved rapidly, fusing cubist and surrealist approaches with Afro Cuban motifs, resulting in hybrid figures – with mask-like faces and exaggerated, angular bodies – that combined elements of humans, animals, and plants. From roughly 1940 – 1955, Lam exhibited extensively, traveling between Cuba, France, and the United States, settling eventually in Paris and later, Italy. In a world that is increasingly intertwined, Wifredo Lam’s work provides a historical perspective on our international connection.

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