Collection: Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam
b. 1902, Sagua la Grande, Cuba; d. 1982, Paris
La Chevelure (The Mane), 1945
Oil and charcoal on canvas
28-3/4 x 23-5/8 inches
Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, gift of Jorge Pérez
Peter Harholdt

Born in Cuba, Wilfredo Lam's unique practice was deeply influenced by his own diverse cultural identity, which included family members of Spanish, African, and Chinese decent. He spent two decades living in Europe, where he met Pablo Picasso, whose development of Cubism had a strong effect on his work. He also met André Breton, the leader of the Surrealist movement, who became a close friend. ¶¶In 1942, Lam fled Europe, and travelled with Breton to Martinique and the Dominican Republic, before returning to his native Cuba. There, he became strongly influenced by the mythology and forms of Afro-Cuban religions. This delicate painting, Le Chevelure, shows a horse-woman, a figure that has appeared in many of the artist's works. She is portrayed with a long mane flowing down her back. Also present are plant and animal forms, as well as small round faces with bulging eyes that are attributed to the playful and cunning Afro-Cuban deity, Eleguá, known as "the trickster." ¶

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