martes, 10 de agosto de 2010

During the Summer, Exhibition by Cuban Artist Wifredo Lam in Nantes

With the telluric strength of its irrevocable images Wifredo Lam is today the most universal Cuban artist.

The JungleThe exhibition Journey between the Caribbean and the avant-gardes, which throughout this summer has become the center of attention at the Beau Arts Museum in Nantes, the French city where famous writer Jules Verne was born, has turned the painter of La jungla (the Jungle) into a highly valuable character, since it has been discovered in the integrity of its career by young people who had historical information on the painter’s importance for the artistic renovation of the 20th century, but who didn’t know the real scope of that contribution.

The most important repercussion of the Nantes exposition is that it has returned to the European public a Lam who is not sitting in the throne of the most vibrating current artistic trends, but out of today’s commercial markets. That is to say, in this exhibit Lam is not seen as the artist whose work is auctioned at exorbitant prices (on May 28 the auction of his painting Sur les traces reached the record figure of 1.42 millions dollars in Sotheby’s). It is seen in the elevated stature of a work which has been able to generate readings according to the times we are living now.

Lam has a lot to say today due to the cultural synthesis shown in his painting, the vindication of the Third World, the authenticity of his mixed vision, and his revelation of myths. The words that Cuban scholar Fernando Ortiz wrote about the master 60 years ago are still in effect: "... he doesn’t stop himself in a world of visible realities but delves into the underworld, where he can find the figures which are only found by an introspective mentality in the form of a para-sensorial vision ".

Upon commenting the Nantes exhibit, French critic Gilles Bounoure said that it is the “exemplary poetic experience” of an artist who "through his immense inventive capacity created a new and completely free splendid world in his painting".

On display until late August, this retrospective exposition, much larger than the one held by the Drapper Museum at the end of 2001 and the beginning of 2002, includes 78 paintings and drawings.

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