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Wifredo Lam: Imagining New Worlds

August 30–December 14, 2014

Catalogue | E-Book

Presenting more than forty paintings and a wide selection of works on paper by Wifredo Lam (1902–82), this retrospective is the first to examine the artist as a global figure whose work blurred boundaries among established artistic movements of the twentieth century. Lam was born in Cuba to parents of Chinese and African/Spanish descent. He gave expression to his multiracial and multicultural ancestry whilst engaging with the major political, literary, and artistic circles that defined his century.

The works displayed in Imagining New Worlds are drawn from major public and private collections in Europe, Latin America, and the United States and from all of the artist’s major periods. These outstanding examples reveal the imprint on Lam’s hybrid style of surrealism, magic realism, modernism, postmodernism, and the syncretic religion of Santería practiced in the Caribbean and West Africa. Also examined in the exhibition is the influence of Spanish baroque poets and Spanish, French, and Latin American avant-garde artists and writers like Pablo Picasso, André Breton, Federico García Lorca, Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel García Márquez, and Aimé Césaire. Exhibited together for the first time are many of Lam’s greatest masterpieces, allowing for a reexamination of the breadth of the artist’s oeuvre and chronicling how his poetic imagination inspired his depictions of "new worlds."

Organized by the McMullen Museum, Boston College, this exhibition has been curated by Elizabeth T. Goizueta. The accompanying catalogue contains essays by Claude Cernuschi, Roberto Cobas Amate, Elizabeth T. Goizueta, Roberto Goizueta, and Lowery Stokes Sims. The exhibition, which travels to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (February 14–May 24, 2015), has been underwritten by Boston College and the Patrons of the McMullen Museum.

Images © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris.


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