Wifredo Lam


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Quote, price and estimation of the artist Wifredo Lam

Price of a painting: 2,600 – 3 800,000 €.

Estimation of a drawing: 100 – 452,300 €.

Estimation of a print: 50 – 2,500 €.

Estimation of a sculpture: 240 – 18,600 €.

Price of a ceramic: 100 – 8,500 €.

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The youth of Wifredo Lam

Born to a Chinese father and a Cuban mother, Lam belonged to traditions from which he drew inspiration for his work. He first saw African sculptures in a museum in Barcelona in 1928, a city where he continued his artistic studies, which he had begun in Havana. The Spanish Civil War of 1937 forced him to take refuge in Paris that same year.

Influence in the European and Haitian avant-gardes

The artist who admired Picasso’s work and imitated him in his early days was noticed by Picasso. Thus, the master cubist allowed him to meet great artists such as Ernst, Brauner or Breton. At that time, towards the end of the 1940s, Lam’s work was surrealist. In 1941, he managed to return to his native country, but kept in touch with the group of surrealists. During this time, he produced his first important paintings, such as The Dark Malumbo and The Jungle.

During a stay in Haiti, he attended voodoo ceremonies, allowing him to enrich his work. This is how he renewed his palette and accentuated the lyricism of his works, which could present a relatively austere aspect (Ogoun Feraille). After the war, Lam regularly travelled to Paris.

Multiple influences for work with worldwide significance

He later produced canvases that are very similar to monochrome (La coiffe blanche 1963). The effects that he applies to his painting come from a repertoire of signs that can sometimes be found in his work, griffled birds, horned masks; foliage, filiform silhouettes that can also be found in the ceramics he produced in 1975. However, this should not be seen as an obsessive veneering of certain themes (The Nightlight, 1945) from Cuban or African tales. In reality, he personalises them as much as he universalises them: we are free to perceive in them the representation of our own desires. M.P. Fouchet’s book published in 1976 analyses this phenomenon and at the same time constitutes a catalogue of Lam Wifredo’s work.

The city of Paris, where he died in 1982, dedicated an exhibition to him in March 1983 at the Museum of Modern Art. He was, within the capital and since the 1960s, a sort of relentless ambassador of Cuban art and painting in the world and also embodied the pictorial development of the European continent in his native Cuba.

Recognising W. Lam’s signature

Like many artists, Wifredo Lam did not sign all of his works. However, you will find below an example of the signatures to give you an idea. Variations of these signatures do exist, do not hesitate to contact one of our experts to formally authenticate a signature.

expertise signature wifredo lam

Appraising and selling a piece by Wifredo Lam

If you own a piece by Wifredo Lam or any other object, ask for a free estimate via our online form.

You will then be contacted by a member of our team of experts and auctioneers to give you an independent view of the market price of your piece. In the context of a possible sale, our specialists will also advise you on the different options available to sell your work at the best price.