Wifredo Lam was a Cuban artist best known for his large-scale paintings that interjected Modernist techniques with Afro-Cuban imagery. Pace Publishing has released a new book chronicling the recent retrospective exhibition on the artist that went on view at the gallery’s New York flagship this past year.
In collaboration with Gary Nader Art Centre, “Wifredo Lam: The Imagination at Work” was a unique opportunity to experience a wide selection of Lam’s paintings and paper-based studies, along with rarely seen bronze sculptures.
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Born in the small town of Sagua la Grande to a Chinese father and a mother descendant of Spanish conquistadors and African slaves, Lam’s graphic assemblages often explored notions of spirituality and social justice. Having moved to Paris before the start of WWII, Lam befriended several leading artists, such as Pablo Picasso, André Breton and Joan Miró, whose Cubist and Surrealist sensibilities would greatly influence the Cuban’s work, such as his seminal 1943 painting, The Jungle.
The book features a foreword by Alexander Alberro, along with essays by fellow art historians Kaira M. Cabañas and Samantha A. Noël and writer Alexandra Chang. “With his purposeful combinations and blurring of oppositions, he suggests how gender, sexuality, and cultural and racial identities interlock in nonhierarchical ways to be mutually impactful, transformative, and even progressive,” said Cabañas in a statement.
Wifredo Lam: The Imagination at Work is available to purchase for $50 USD at Pace Publishing.
Elsewhere, Nicolas Party challenges the hierarchies of Art history in “Triptych.”
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