Philippe–Auguste, Salnave* (1908–89)

90. Nude and Flamingos_
c1980 (24x20)





   A Port–au–Prince native, a member of the mulatre elite and a lawyer, Salnave Philippe–Auguste turned to art in his 50s. It was safer under François Duvalier than practicing law. Score one for Papa Doc. (The elder Duvalier ruled from 1957 to 1971. His son, Jean–Claude — 'Baby Doc,' 19 years old at his accession — maintained the dictatorship until 1986.)
   Philippe–Auguste developed an unusual method of painting. He did 'cut–outs' and used them to place figures on his canvases. The same flamingo, lion, or tree might appear — in different settings — in two or several paintings.
   A first–class draftsman and vivid colorist, Philippe–Auguste was among the most sought–after Haitian artists even during his lifetime. A work similar to Nude and Flamingos sold for $4,000 at a New York City auction in the mid–1970s; Sotheby Park Bernet heralded the bid as the most ever paid for a living Haitian artist. It wasn't; but it was more than a Philippe–Auguste had ever commanded. A similar work at that dollar–amount would be a fairly good buy today; but $4,000 then is like $16,000 in 2014 dollars.

(There is no enlargement for 108. Jungle.)




118. Lion and Lioness
c1989 (20x26)

108. Jungle
c1986 (print: 19x25)


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