Wifredo Lam. The Jungle (La Jungla). 1943. Gouache on paper mounted on canvas, 94 1/4 × 90 1/2" (239.4 × 229.9 cm). Inter-American Fund. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
  • MoMA, Floor 4, 401 The David Geffen Galleries

The devastation of World War II caused a mass exodus from Europe to locations around the globe. Among the refugees who flooded into New York were artists and art dealers whose presence transformed the city’s cultural scene. These figures exchanged ideas with their American counterparts, mutually influencing each other’s work. The search for safety took artists to other places, such as Cuba, that inspired the work they made upon arriving. Those who remained in Europe—whether by choice or not—made art marked by the legacy of a shattered, war-torn continent.

Surrealism was a touchstone for many artists who sought inspiration in the realm of the fantastic, and they incorporated a vocabulary of totemic forms, lunar landscapes, and swirling organic shapes into their work. Their cosmic imagery evokes far-off galaxies but also, as Cuban artist Wifredo Lam said, “communicates a psychic state.”

20 works online
Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.