Transformative Visions:
Works by Haitian Artists from the Permanent Collection
November 8, 2014 - January 18, 2015

Uncle CheungThis exhibition, which includes a fully illustrated scholarly catalogue, highlights the diversity of Haitian visual art and the formal and thematic dialogue among Haitian and Haitian-American artists across generations and national boundaries. The exhibition features paintings, sculptures, and textile works that appear together for the first time and span over five decades. As a group, these pieces challenge reductive and stereotypical assumptions about Haitian art, spotlighting both the variety and the interconnection of works falling under that category.

While Transformative Visions is not curated according to a singular vision, certain common features link many of these pieces. The exhibition explores the multiple ways in which artists have drawn upon and reinterpreted religious iconography in their work. It points to how portraiture, with a long history in Haiti going back to the early nineteenth century, has been reinvented across different media. The exhibition also spotlights the transnationalism that shapes contemporary Haitian artistic production and the connections of these works to broader currents of black Atlantic visual culture.

Transformative practices are central to the creation of many of the pieces, from Sacha Tebó’s flour-sack canvas for his Portrait of a Man, to Louisiane Saint Fleurant’s study of a mother and two children on a floral curtain, to the sinuous frame that Pascale Monnin converts into beaded angel wings in her L’Ange de la Résurrection, to the pieces of scrap metal that Serge Jolimeau and Seresier Louisjuste metamorphize into, respectively, La Sirène and Danbala Wedo, to the repurposed pieces of tire, plastic, and metal that enclose and adorn André Eugène’s mother and child in Ayiti Pap Peri. The exhibition highlights transformation as an artistic process, theme, and also potential of the featured works and of the greater corpus of Haitian visual art. In sum, Transformative Visions is mounted in the hope and expectation that these works will enable viewers to see Haitian art — and thus Haiti and the world — in new ways.

A highlight of the exhibition will be the debut of Monnin’s mobile L’Ange de la Résurrection acquired by the Lowe through funds from Beaux Arts in honor of retiring museum director, Brian Dursum. For Monnin, who created the sculpture (comprised of pottery with raku glaze, wire, pearls, and jewels) between 2006 and 2011, “it is the face of a child split by a diamond-studded fault line. The face teaches us the need to live with our scars, to make our stitches sparkling diamonds and to transform our wounds into weapons of mass construction.”


Related Publication
In keeping with the Lowe’s mission “to research the permanent collection and publish the findings,” a fully illustrated, 100-page catalogue will be produced for the exhibition, which will be further augmented with gallery text panels and descriptive labels.


Related Programming
Transformative Visions Artists’ Dialogue

Saturday, November 8, 2014, 2 – 3:30 pm

Storer Auditorium, UM School of Business
Free and open to the public
RSVP: LoweRSVP@miami.edu or 305.284.5960
Parking: Free parking available at Pavia Garage

The Lowe Art Museum will present a dialogue with four artists: Myrlande Constant, André Eugène, Adler Guerrier, and Pascale Monnin. Moderated by Dr. Jerry Philogene, assoc. professor, American studies, Dickinson College, the panel will discuss the current landscape of artistic production in Haiti and the diaspora with reference to formal, thematic, and socio-economic questions. The dialogue will represent a rare opportunity for Haiti- and diaspora-based artists to discuss their work together in a public forum.

Art in Real Life and Transformative Visions Opening Reception
Saturday, November 8, 2014, 4 – 6pm
Free and open to the public
Lowe Art Museum
RSVP: LoweRSVP@miami.edu or 305.284.5960
Parking: Free parking available at Pavia Garage

The opening reception for Transformative Visions and Art in Real Life and the Transformative Visions Artist Dialogue was generously underwritten by HSBC. Additional support for the Transformative Visions Artist Dialogue was provided by University of Miami’s Center for Humanities and the College of Arts and Sciences’ Strategic Initiatives Unit, the College’s Programs in Africana Studies and American Studies; the Departments of Anthropology, Art and Art History, History, Caribbean Literary; Cultural Studies in the Department of English; and Modern Languages and Literatures Joseph Carter Memorial Fund.  Additional support for the opening reception for Transformative Visions and Art in Real Life was provided by Bacardi.

Lowe Art Museum exhibitions and programs are sponsored by Beaux Arts and the general membership. Additional support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, and the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.

The Lowe Art Museum is located on the campus of the University of Miami at 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables.  Museum gallery and store hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday noon – 4 p.m. The Museum is closed on Mondays and University holidays. General Admission (not including programs) is $10, $5 for senior citizens and non-UM students, and free for Lowe members, UM students, faculty and staff, and children under 12. Admission is free on Donation Day, the first Tuesday of every month. Public Program Admission is generally $10 for non-members and free for Lowe members.  For more information, call 305.284.3535, tweet us @loweartmuseum, follow us on facebook.com/loweartmuseum, or visit lowemuseum.org.


Image Captions:

Pascale Monnin
L'Ange de la Résurrection, 2006-2011
pottery with raku glaze, wire, pearls, and jewels
Generous gift of Beaux Arts in honor of retiring Director Brian A. Dursum, 2014.13