description of Un coq pour Chango (A Rooster for Shango), formerly L’Oracle et l’oiseau vert (The Oracle and the Green Bird) by Wifredo Lam

This three-and-a-half foot tall, three foot wide oil painting on burlap depicts two surreal creatures, one in front of the other. The primary figure stands in the back, tall and thin, dressed in a long black robe. It appears to have one short sleeve which points straight out to our left, and one long sleeve which flows down to our lower right hand corner. At the top of the canvas is the figure’s tiny round head, with wide eyes, an open mouth, and two short horns. Long muted-yellow hair flows from the back of its head, draped down the front of the robe. Emerging from the hair is a bent arm which holds the second creature: a fierce, stylized rooster. The muddy green, dragon-like creature has a pointed tail, and an axe-shaped head with two curved fangs. In our upper right hand corner is a faint line drawing of a diamond shape with two rows of horns.

Wifredo Lam, Un Coq pour Chango (A Rooster for Shango), formerly L’Oracle et l’oiseau vert (The Oracle and the Green Bird), 1947
Wifredo Lam, Un Coq pour Chango (A Rooster for Shango), formerly L’Oracle et l’oiseau vert (The Oracle and the Green Bird), 1947; oil on burlap, 42 in. x 35 in. (106.68 cm x 88.9 cm); Fractional gift from Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem; © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Wifredo Lam, Un Coq pour Chango (A Rooster for Shango), formerly L’Oracle et l’oiseau vert (The Oracle and the Green Bird), 1947

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Un Coq pour Chango (A Rooster for Shango), formerly L’Oracle et l’oiseau vert (The Oracle and the Green Bird)
Artist name
Wifredo Lam
Date created
1947
Classification
painting
Medium
oil on burlap
Dimensions
42 in. x 35 in. (106.68 cm x 88.9 cm)
Date acquired
1992
Credit
Fractional gift from Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem
Copyright
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Permanent URL
https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/92.265
Artwork status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900 (2018)

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