Wilfredo Lam Painter of Negritude
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Wilfredo Lam Painter of Negritude book
The work of Wifredo Lam is an alchemical mixture of Third World liberation, Surrealism and Negritude. The active ingredients are the ideas of Breton and the Surrealists and of Aime Cesaire, the first poet of Negritude. The crucible was Tropiques, a journal published during the war by Cesaire and his wife Suzanne in Martinique, where all of these individuals briefly came together. The friendship between Lam and Cesaire is well known. What has not been remarked is that Lam, though a Spanish rather than a French colonial, followed virtually the same trajectory and bore inside himself the same contradictions as the Negritude writers in his search for an authentic and contemporary Black art. Lam is really the painter of Negritude, and the development of his work, its difficulties and successes, can best be understood in the light of the later history of Negritude.