Cuban Artists

Overview Artists
  • Miguel Melero Rodríguez
  • Amelia Peláez
  • Carlos Enriquez
  • Wilfredo Lam
  • Marrio Carreño
  • Manuel Mendive

Wilfredo Lam

Wilfredo Lam (1902 - 1982)

Cuban Painter Wilfredo Lam was born in 1902 and into a family of mixed descent, including African, Chinese and Spanish backgrounds. As a prominent Cuban painter of modern art, he was very much involved in the avant-garde movements not only in the United States but also in Europe.

Having been born in Sagua la Grande, in 1916 he moved to Havana where he soon enrolled at the San Alejandro Academy. He studied art here for 4 years and then traveled to Spain to further his studies. Participating in the Spanish Civil War for the Republicans, he later moved to Paris.

A key moment in Lam’s career as an artist was the time he met Pablo Picasso. Through this famous Spanish painter, Lam was introduced to other artists and intellectuals belonging to the Modernist movement. In 1939 Lam formed part of the Surrealist movement and began exhibiting his art both in Europe as well as the U.S.

When the Second World War broke out, Lam left Europe and by 1942 was back in Cuba. At this stage of his life, Lam began to explore the African side of his ancestral background, incorporating it into his work. Themes he used include the Santería religion, which his godmother used to practice. Lam later moved back to Paris but traveled back and forth to New York and also around Latin America.