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Wifredo Lam (Cuban, 1902–1982)
LOT ID: 82262
Totem Figures, ie. circa 1979

Watercolor, and Ink
13.25 х 18.5 in. (33.66 x 46.99 cm.)
Signed, lower left
Lot description
Artwork measures 13.25 x 18.50 inches.

"Totem Figures," a work on paper by Modern Latin American painter Wifredo Lam highlights the artist's stylized utilization of the erotic, mythological creatures of his native culture within a sophisticated Surrealist idiom.

Paper is creased. It was typical for Lam to fold his work and carry it around with him in his back pocket. "Totem Figures" is consistent with this practice.

Cuban-born Wifredo Lam (1902-1982) was a leading figure in the Surrealist movement. 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 died in Paris in 1982.

Selected Public Collections:

Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
National Galerie, Berlin, Germany
Tate Gallery, London, England
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Totem Figures by Wifredo Lam
  • Totem Figures by Wifredo Lam
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