Until 6 January 2013
Nearly 200 paintings, sculptures and sequined flags by 35 different artists will be taking over the Nottingham Contemporary in Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou. This major exhibition of Haitian art, the UK’s first for many years, seeks to reflect Haiti’s historical experience through the supernatural. Artworks that have emerged from Haiti often harness the imaginative power and visual intricacy of the Haitian history and culture. The colours and striking images are in sharp contrast to the country’s familiar reputation for extreme poverty and political violence. Often inspired by Vodou, a spiritual belief system followed by about 90 percent of Haitians, these works are often significant for their visionary and inventive elements. It was this thread of Haitian art that drew many surrealists to their art, André Breton and Maya Deren, for example.
Haiti, Art and Vodou will trace the history of successive generations of Haitian artists and their response to Vodou. The exhibition begins with what is seen as the “Haitian Renaissance”, as demonstrated by the artists that gathered around Centre D’Art in Port-au-Prince, which drew international attention to Haitian art, and then moves onto the distinctive artists of following generations. This exhibition acknowledges the great work of Haitian artists and the way Vodou impacts upon their everyday lives.
Gerard Valcin, Simbis Voyageurs, 1981.
Courtesy Collection Galerie Nader, Port-au-Prince.