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Wifredo Lam: the purity of a mixture
The exquisite symbiosis of his work is coming from European, Chinese, African and Cuban; it is coming from his special sensibility, the unique aesthetic that makes him the first great Cuban painter.

The artistic legacy of Wifredo Lam is an obliged recurrent material in every moment when we are talking about the analysis of the Cuban plastic. The 105 anniversary of his birth date is the ideal pretext to meet again his creation.

Lam - son of a Chinese and a Cuban mulatta - confessed in several occasions the strong influence exercised by his parents in the formation of his imagination. The dialogue between those two cultures is decisively reflected in all his work.

The recurrence of religious symbols, the recreation of ceremonies, the enigmas, the relationship between men and the unknown had, perhaps, its start between his birth place, Sagua la Grande and his mother skirt, while the perfection of his drawings and the geometrical perfection show the millenary Chinese mark.

Then there are the trips to Europe, his encounter with the surrealist movement and the avant-gardes; Spain and France and his encounter with Picasso and Andre Breton would definitely change his later work, it was the actualization moment, the moment of technical perfection of ideological maturity.

In the Old Continent steps were taken in the art field that would not be for long in the Americas.

However, what immortalize his work and makes it a breaking element is not the disperse appropriation of knowledge; it is the visual translation of a complex process of cross culture. The purity of his legacy is in his authentically Cuban condition.

Wifredo Lam was capable of taking that East - West mixture to the creation of our identity.

The painter of famous pieces such as La Jungla - in the New York Modern Art Museum - La silla and Tercer Mundo - part of the collection of the National Arts Museum - placed his flag in the much demanded change border. Lam is considered the main responsible of the development of the plastic avant-garde in Cuba as well as one of its precursors in the Americas.

The tribute in Cuba to the 105 anniversary of the birth date of Wifredo Lam started last 5th of December with an institutions competition, such as the Center of Contemporary Art that carries his name, the Cuban Photographic Library, the San Alejandro National Academy of Arts and the Federation of University Students (FEU, after its initials in Spanish).

The celebration ends at the University of Information Sciences with the exhibition of pieces by young Cuban plastic artists.


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