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Until 15th February 2016 at the Centre Pompidou

Wifredo Lam, Albissola, circa 1960 © SDO Wifredo Lam

Wifredo Lam, Albissola, circa 1960 © SDO Wifredo Lam

The Centre Pompidou presents, until 15th February 2016, the beautiful and multiculturalist work of Wilfredo Lam (1902-1982). The engravings, ceramics and paintings made by the Cuban artist between 1930 and 1970 speak of globalization before its time. Born to a Chinese father and a mulatto mother – of Spanish and Congolese descent – Lam combines, in his paintings, African, Caribbean, Western and voodoo influences.

References to avant-garde visual artists are frequent, and the influence of Matisse, Gris, Brauner and Picasso is palpable. Thus, from his early Paris paintings onwards, Wifredo Lam replaced the faces of his characters with African masks. Nevertheless, the artist gradually emancipated from his mentors, appropriating large plain-coloured full surfaces and simplifying forms.

Wifredo LAM, 'The Jungle' 1943. © SDO Wifredo Lam - DR, Adagp, Paris 2015

Wifredo LAM, ‘The Jungle’ 1943. © SDO Wifredo Lam – DR, Adagp, Paris 2015

The soft and melancholic colours on display stress the drawing lines, representing elongated and hybrid characters. Malicious beings, half-man, half-demon inhabit the foreground of most compositions while horned and hoofed creatures roam in enchanting forests, as in ‘The Jungle’ from 1943.

The Centre Pompidou pays a beautiful tribute to an artist and his distinctive journey through the history of 20th century art. A mysterious and magical work to discover!

Practical information

Centre Pompidou

Address : Place Beaubourg, 75004 Paris (Rambuteau, metro line 11)

Opening times:  11:00 – 21:00 every day except Tuesdays. Thursdays until 23:00

Admission fees: 14 € (full fare), 11 € (discounted fare)

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