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.

 

 

If visual arts arouse emotions in the viewer, and also gastronomy, at its finest, can cause a similar effect, the relationship between both "disciplines" is more than demonstrated.

Cheese is a fundamental piece in gastronomy, its diversity allows it to be part of gastronomy different moments, from starters to desserts, and that is why Art Madrid includes it in this year’s edition of the Fair from an ambitious place. Cheese is given this way a closest view to the creation of a work of art, both from the point of view of the time spent in its execution process and the almost personalized study dedicated to each piece during its elaboration.

Like a plastic artist, the Cheese Master Affineur executes a series of actions making each piece an exclusive and individualized element. This is what Madrid cheese factory QAVA de Quesos and its Master Afinador José Luis Martín achieve.

QAVA & MARTÍN AFINADOR is a new store concept: a unique space designed to taste, learn, promote and buy cheese in Madrid, in the heart of Retiro district."

José Luis Martín is a key piece in the QAVA cheese factory. He has been working in the cheese world for more than 30 years, providing training throughout the world, visiting cheese shops, consulting and advising on the design and implementation of one of the most emblematic cheese shops in Spain. The fact of knowing the producers personally, and even advising them on the manufacture and design of their products, allows him to select specific batches, at different stages of maturation, to complete the cheese ripening and then convert each piece into a unique product, different and with its own distinct character, the signature of the Cheese Master.

In the profile of the Master Martín Afinador experience and pure knowledge merge. Martín Afinador is an advisor and consultant for artisanal cheese factories and product design, and for the best-specialised stores in the country, director of Gourmetquesos, director and coordinator of the Championship of the Best Cheeses in Spain during nine editions, technical director and jury in national and international cheese competitions and tastings, collaborator of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Academy of Spanish Gastronomy, director and coordinator of the cheese section of the Repsol Guide to the Best Foods in Spain and trainer for hospitality schools and food centres teaching, among other activities.

Cheese ripening is a complex process that requires time and dedication, in addition to a developed use of the senses. The Cheese Master Affineur, as a specialist in the field, works in all cheese stages (varied and complex), controls all stages of raw material transformation, supervises the evolution and development of cheeses according to the characteristics of each one of them, verifies the quality and the state when the cheeses arrive at their cellars, checks their care and conservation, and; finally, he controls its packaging and the type of wrapping suitable for its best preservation.

In Qava de Quesos they have two Cheese Refining Cellars. In these "tuning caves" or refrigerated chambers designed in constant conditions of temperature, humidity and ventilation, "we take great care of the cheeses until they reach their optimum point of consumption". The work of refining involves placing the cheeses on wooden shelves, turning them over daily and/or washing them frequently, brushing them periodically, as well as other regular handlings.

Among the services offered by Qava de Quesos, we can find specific courses and workshops, events for groups and companies, and advice on shop design and ripening rooms.