b. 1902
- d. 1982
  • Cuba
Turnover 2023
$USD 6.305.468
Record Sale
$USD 9.603.800

Wifredo Lam’s artistic journey commenced with studies in painting at the Escuela de Bellas Artes between 1918 and 1923, where he displayed a clear preference for outdoor painting over traditional academic approaches. In 1923, he made the pivotal decision to relocate to Spain, where he trained under the guidance of painter Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor, renowned for his influence on Salvador Dalí.

Adopting a modern Spanish realist approach, Lam embraced a simplified and decorative interpretation of the style. During the Spanish Civil War, he made his way to Paris, where he established connections with prominent artists such as Pablo Picasso, a relationship that left a significant imprint on his artistic style. His gouache-based works began to feature stylized figures reminiscent of Picasso’s influence and the aesthetics of African sculpture. An encounter with André Breton further linked him to the Surrealist movement.

Returning to Cuba in the 1940s, Lam’s art started to reflect the challenges faced by the Afro-Cuban population. His work preserved vanishing traditions through depictions of hybrid figures, voodooism, and ritualistic scenes. In 1946, he revisited Paris, eventually settling there in the 1950s. His later works continued to showcase simplified forms and vibrant colors, and he ventured into sculpting, creating models that mirrored the figures in his paintings.

Wifredo Lam’s enduring legacy is prominently represented in renowned art collections worldwide, including The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Havana.


Record Sale

Wifredo LAM (1902-1982)
Omi obini (1943)



182.9 x 124.5 cm

United States
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale
29 jun 2020
Online only

Lot # 1008
Hammer price: $ 8,200,000
Price including buyer’s premium: $ 9,603,800
Estimate: $ 8,000,000 – $ 12,000,000

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