Saint–Vil, Murat (1955–   )


67. Landscape
_
c1982 (12x16)

147. Landscape
c1993 (20x24)
 

   The earlier of these two works was another that I asked a favorite gallery owner to select for me. I was initially rather unimpressed with it. Later I came to appreciate St–Vil's 'semi–fantastique' landscapes. (See also Michel Louissaint.)
  
From the Haitian Art Company's website:
  
St.Vil took an interest in painting at a early age. His father recommended [St Vil] to his friend Prefete Duffaut and the young St.Vil apprenticed in his studio for a year. In 1977 he began his very suc[c]essful style where the soft shading among the various hues of blues, greens and purples confer upon his work a particular charm. In 1983, he was awarded the Prix Suisse for naive painting. At the twelfth International Competition of the Kasper Morges Pro Arte Gallery, he won the Bronze Lansquenet. Since 1975, St. Vil has exhibit...ed in Martinique, Guadeloupe, the United States, Denmark, Curacao, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, France and England.

     Sanon, François (1938–   )


229. 'Village'
c1980 (20x24)

   Born in Jèrèmie near the western tip of Haïti's long southern peninsula, Sanon is best known as a sculptor who works in wood, principally mahogany. Village is one of his relatively few paintings, executed presumably when his workshop was attached to Petionville's Red Carpet gallery. Sanon now has his own studio, located in Laboule, a village on the road between Petionville and Kenscoff.

     Savain, Petion (1906–73)

     Savain began painting in 1927 and was the first Haitian artist to gain international acclaim. He won awards in Haïti and the United States as early as 1939 and studied at the New York Art Students League in 1941
   A teacher, lawyer, and writer — of books and of a popular newspaper column, which he gave up after Papa Doc seized power in 1957 — Savain was an original. He has inspired scores of 'market scene' imitators — most of whom try to copy the flowing semi–circles in which his figures stand, sit, and crouch. (His son–in–law, Claude Dambreville, an accomplished artist, is not among the imitators.)
   Savain is represented in many private and museum collections, including the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, D C. and the Grand Central and Riverside Museum in New York.
   I bought this painting — and another, smaller and mostly in shades of blue, but nearly the same composition — on my first trip to Haïti. (I sold the smaller one, in 2014, to a collector in Australia.) Since I purchased 'only' eleven pieces on that 1972 visit, I'm not sure why I chose two such similar works by the same artist: I assume I really liked them. In any event, by the time of my second visit Savain was dead and his prices had escalated beyond what I would have paid two years earlier.
 
                            5. Marché
_
                          1972 (30x24)

     Senatus, Jean–Louis (1949–   )


16. Scéne rurale_
c1974 (18x24)

   Senatus, born in Léogane, began his painting career in 1968 as a miniaturist — one of the best that Haïti has produced. (In 1969 he won second prize in a contest sponsored, by Air France.) Sometime in the 1970s he became a surrealist — and not, to my way of thinking, a particularly good one.

     Sèvére, Jean–Claude (1941–   )


24. 'Les lavendeuses …'
c1976 (24x30)

   Another Philomé Obin student — said to have been a particular favorite of the old man — Sèvére is an outstanding draftsman and colorist. For several years in the 1970s Issa El–Saieh sold much of the artist's output to a single New England collector .
   According to Bill Bollendorf of the Macondo Gallery, www.artshaitian.com, in the late 1970s Sèvére submitted to economic realities. 'Needing a steady paycheck,' he gave up painting and began working as a waiter on cruise ships. While that's sad, Sèvére was not the first artist to find it difficult to make a living from his art — nor the first Haitian to find it difficult to make a living at all.
   Sèvéres are both good and hard to find.

           

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