Wifredo Lam Enhibition in Museo Reina Sofía Madrid

 

 

Son of Cantonese father and a Cuban mother with hispanoafricanas roots, Wifredo Lam (Sagua La Grande, Cuba, 1902-Paris, 1982) took the concept of miscegenation to its last consecuences. The ancestors African slaves provided him with spirituality and connection with the earth and roots and his Chinese ancestors inoculated the passion for the psyche but also the art of the emperors, the porcelains, delicacy and symbolism; multiple influences that in Wifredo were taking shape in an absolutely personal hybrid style.

 
 

 


The huge anthology dedicated to Wifedo Lam organized by the Reina Sofia Museum in co-production with the Pompidou Museum (Paris) and the Tate in London, lets us go to all facets of the artist and devotes special attention to their work during the past season in Spain, from 1923 to 1938, period whose influences are essential to understanding his later work.

 

 

Wifredo Lam was related to all the avant-garde artists and modern creation in the  fervent century, a convulsive time he also lived with his brand of eternal emigrant. And so, his work was changing and evolving between cubism, abstraction, expresionionismo, Western modernism and African symbolism, and that was carrying the concerns of the painter, deeply committed to the world's problems (racial issues, socio-political relations, colonialism) and curious with all the methods and techniques painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, printmaking, traveling between one and other as in an "external and internal exile" with the words of Manuel Borja-Villel, director of the reina Sofía Museum.

 

 

 

 
 

 

For the curator Catherine David "the fast assimilation with cubism and surrealism was an entry card into the clan of the modernity, but his work is much more complex." According to Borja-Villel, Lam "is the most fascinating painter of the twentieth century but is difficult to understand, and he has been placed into categories too defined and stable ".

 

The exhibition, with 250 works, is designed in 5 parts that place Lam's work in relation with the history of international art and highlights the progressive stages of a work built between Spain, France, Italy and Cuba ... In Spain he knows the avant garde and coincides with Benjamin Palencia and the surrealism ... Later in Paris is essential the meeting with Pablo Picasso and André Breton's circle. Since 1942, Lam painting gives a master spin and seeks their African origins present in Cuban culture. Since then, he shapes and defines his style, the total union between the European avant-garde and Afro-Cuban plastic, total rupture between center and periphery, an original language to defend life and individual freedom.

 

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.