Haitian Masters

16 September 2011 - 15 October 2011

Vernissage : Friday 16 September 11, 18:00 - 22:00
Galerie Lumières d'Afrique, 204 Chaussée de Wavre, 1050 Bruxelles

30 artists selected:

Alberik, Antilhomme,Yvon Alouidor, Gesner Armand, Montas Antoine, Wilson Bigaud, Bourmond Byron, Abner Dubic, Th. Dubic, Philippe Dodard, Lafortune Félix, Calixte Henri, Jafa (Janine Fabien), Jasmin Joseph, Onel Joseph, Saint-Jean, Emile Lafontant, Casimir Laurent, Louisiane Lubin, Prosper Pierre-Louis, Ronald Mevs, Gérard Paul, Matthieu Saint-Juste, Murat Saint-Vil, Saint-Jacques Smith, Sufal, Jean Thermidor, Saint-Pierre Toussaint, Tiga (Jean-Claude Garoute), Zag.

Haïti is still a big enigma, up to this day. Why so many artists painters flourished in an ex-colony island of the Caribbean? It seems like it was an entire nation of painting people. In the late 80s and 90s, while a few hundreds of educated and popular painters could be numbered in Haïti, next door, in Jamaica or in the Dominican Republic a comparative estimation of the number of painters would be considerably smaller.

« The dawning of Haïtian art, in its suddenness and totality, continues to inspire questions which have as yet no satisfactory answers. We look to Africa, womb of inherited mysticism, for reply. Or we reexamine the boldness of everyday decoration. All the elements are decisively intertwined. This nation, ripened in sorrow, needed to explode at any cost through the transcendant form of art. It is a propitious rupture in the historical trajectory of a population. A great wisdom ensues, residing in an evident good-heartedness, a joie de vivre expressed in singing and dance. And this wisdom, - accused of naïveté and unconsciousness because of a physical misery, which does not hinder its sensitivity to multi-faceted nature, ever nearby – takes the form of non-violent though extremely potent expression. It is, paradoxically, both submission and revolt, surging from the heart of the Twentieth Century... »

(Abstract by Gesner Armand, circa 1989. Source: La Peinture Haïtienne by Marie-José Nadal & Gérald Bloncourt. Nathan - ISBN 2.09 .161501.3 / ISBN 2.09 .296061.7)