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Wifredo Lam (Cuban, 1902–1982)
LOT ID: 77877
New Kindness, 1971

Aquatint, Color etching on Beau chêne paper
24.6 х 32.87 in. (62.48 x 83.49 cm.)
Signed, signed, lower right corner, and numbered, 'XI/XXX', lower left corner in pencil
Print/Casting Year 1971
Edition XI/XXX
Lot description
Nouvelle Bonté (New Kindness): Rare and original edition on best quality heavy wove paper, parchment (Beau chêne paper)
Largest in size colour etching, aquatint of the whole Wifredo Lam etching production
edition of 30, number 11
This work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia, acquired in 1990

‘New Kindness' demonstrates the influence of Picasso's cubist technique upon Wifredo Lam's work, but the style is clearly unique to him. A jumbled arrangement of limbs become entangled with one another and is interspersed with images of tribal masks. The blanched tonality of the flesh is accentuated by the organic browns, tans, and blacks of the masks, allowing them to pop from the composition. The fantastic creatures Lam creates explores the surrealistic aspect of his artwork, which blend styles of traditional native imagery with that of other cultural mythologies.

Cuban-born Wifredo Lam (1902-1982) is known for his stylized utilization of the erotic, mythological creatures of his native culture within a sophisticated Surrealist idiom. His paintings, prints, and sculptures reference his life experiences from his 1946 sojourn to Haiti and Cuba, to his studies with Pablo Picasso and André Breton in Paris. Lam attended the Escuela de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba in 1916 and then studied at the Acadamia San Atejandra, Havana, Cuba. After moving to Spain, he attended the Free Academy in Madrid from 1924-1928. In 1938 he moved to Paris where he became associated with the Surrealists. Lam spent his time between Paris and Cuba. Over the span of his life, Lam received numerous awards, including First Prize at the Salone Nacionale in Havana, Cuba in 1951; the Guggenheim International Award, New York in 1964; and the Premio Marzotto in Milan, Italy in 1965. Throughout his career, he participated in many exhibitions around the world, including solo shows at Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York; the Institute of contemporary Arts in London, UK; and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Lam's work continues to be featured in shows throughout the world. His work can also be seen in the public collections of the Tate Gallery, London, UK; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; National Galerie, Berlin, Germany; and the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Lam died in Paris in 1982.
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New Kindness by Wifredo Lam
  • New Kindness by Wifredo Lam
  • New Kindness by Wifredo Lam
  • New Kindness by Wifredo Lam
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