Terms of Sale
Coup de Foudre, LLC
Paintings by Haitian Artists
We are pleased to offer a recently purchased small and choice group of paintings by Haitian artists. It has been said that Haiti is a country of 5 million people with 8 million artists! These paintings, however, are by a few of the important and better-known painters, all of whom were basically self-taught and some of whom are no longer with us. These paintings were acquired in the 1970's, some from the artists themselves, contemporary to the time of their creation. Collection provenance will be provided to buyers.
Henry Robert Bresil
St. Pierre Toussaint
Chronology/History of Haitian Painting
(from Indigo Arts)
Without pretending to a
comprehensive synopsis of modern Haitian art history, some other landmark
events in modern Haitian art history are as follows:
The visits to Haiti by French surrealist Andre Breton with Cuban painter Wilfredo Lam, each of whom bought several paintings by Hector
Hyppolite. While somewhat
self-servingly claiming the Haitian artists as fellow surrealists, Breton did a
geat deal to legitimize and promote Haitian art in Europe and Latin America.
That same year the Pan American Union hosted the first museum show of Haitian
art in the United States.
The first purchase of a work by a Haitian naivé painter by the Museum of
Modern Art in New York. Museum president René d'Harnoncourt had first taken
notice of the Haitian work in 1944.
- The painting of the magnificent murals at Port-au-Prince's Episcopal
cathedral of Sainte Trinité by Wilson Bigaud, Philome Obin, Gabriel Leveque,
Castera Bazile and others, directed by Peters and the late American
artist/poet/critic Selden Rodman.
The early 1950's saw the emergence of the uniquely Haitian art form of
steel drum sculpture. A blacksmith named George Liautaud hammered out wrought-iron grave crosses for a living
until Peters and others encouraged him to try his hand at figurative sculpture.
His students and followers, including today's masters, Serge Jolimeau
Bien-Aimé, further refined the art of hammering sculpture out of
recycled oil drums.
The accession to power of Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier. For the next
decade he and his tonton macoutes
terrorized Haiti. Most tourists
and buyers of Haitian art stayed away. In spite of this several fresh artists
emerged, including André Pierre,
Gerard Valcin and Salnave
The opening of the Musée d'Art Haitien in Port-au-Prince, the first museum
devoted to Haitian Art. It was dedicated tthe memory of Dewitt Peters, who had
died in 1966. The death of Papa Doc Duvalier and the succession of his
marginally less repressive son "Baby Doc" encouraged a new era of
tourism to Haiti and greater exposure for Haitian artists.
The visit of French writer, critic and Minister of Culture, André Malraux, to the mystical artists' community of Saint-Soleil.
He became a champion of this group which included Prosper Pierre-Louis, Dieuseul Paul
St. Fleurant. Another artist who began to work in this period was the
ever-playful pastry chef turned painter, Gerard Fortuné.
brought the wider recognition of the art of the sequinned "voodoo
flag" or vodou banner (dwapo in Kreyol). Previously regarded as a relatively
obscure liturgical art it came into its own with such innovative artists as the
late Antoine Oleyant and Josef
Oldof Pierre. These and more
traditional artists such as Clotaire Bazile,
and Yves Telemac
were celebrated in the seminal 1995 touring exhibition The Sacred Arts of
Haitan Vodou organized by UCLA's
Fowler Museum of Cultural History. In the last decade the innovation has been
led by woman sequin artists [such] as Myrlande
Constant and the late Amina Simeon.
The departure from Haiti of the dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier
which unleashed forces in Haitian art as well as society which have yet to
brought the inspiring rise of slum priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide to the presidency in Haiti's first free election in
1991, followed by his overthrow by a military junta. His reinstallation by the
US and the UN in 1994, and his recent ignominious fall are the latest chapters
in this period of turmoil. The recent floods in Haiti and the Dominican
Republic are only compounding the misery of many of the Haitian people.