Lehigh University Art Galleries: The Drawings of Wifredo Lam
Lehigh University Art Galleries / Teaching Museum will present The Drawings of Wifredo Lam: -1940 – 1955 from August 30 through December 15, 2017 in the Main Gallery, Zoellner Arts Center. Featuring twenty-one works on paper, this exhibition marks one of the first cultural exchanges between the United States and Cuba since the restored diplomatic relations between the two countries. These original works, seldom seen in the United States, are from the private collection of Cuban national and nephew of the artist, Juan Castillo Vasquez.
Wifredo Lam, an internationally recognized painter of Chinese, Cuban, and Congolese descent, began studying art during his time in Cuba. He continued his education Europe where he formed friendships with influential artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, and Salvador Dalí. Lam created works that combine animal, plant, and human forms with symbols from his Cuban Syncretism and Afro-Cuban beliefs. It was this use of African imagery and symbolism that originally caught the eye of Picasso. By giving his subjects mask-like faces and exaggerated body parts, he transformed them into mystical creatures, all products of his own imagination. The result is a body of work that contains elements linking the cultures of Europe, Cuba, China, and Africa. In a world that is increasingly intertwined, Wifredo Lam’s work provides a historical perspective on our international connection.
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