During a year long stay in the South of Benin, Marie-Denise Douyon created a series of works that she entitled l’Art à Palabres, referring to l’Abre à Palabres, the baobab tree where in the African tradition people gather to chat and share palavers.
These works provide a fascinating parallel between pictorial language and speech, as well as between contemporary art and artisanal techniques. Douyon uses African proverbs and collects stories from this oral traditional society. Words of wisdom, sacred words, divinatory or humorous words nourish her inspiration.
In these African series, Douyon highlight the knowledge and the universal wisdom of men, women and children from traditional societies where the echo reveals a renewed truth at the heart of our contemporary society.
Originally from Haiti, Marie-Denise Douyon is a citizen of the world who grew up in North Africa, studied in New York and Washington and lives in Montreal. A Fine Arts graduate of the NewYork Fashion Institute of Technology, she returned to her homeland in the 1980s and emigrated to Canada as a political refugee in 1991.
This life course is reflected in the creation of this painter with the transhumance for thread. To contemplate a work by Marie-Denise Douyon is to feel the miscegenation of African and Creole cultures in a context of contemporary art. She also expresses her concern about overconsumption by integrating recycled parts of all kinds into her art.
Marie-Denise Douyon has become known in several cities, including Montreal, Vancouver, Port-au-Prince, Washington, Dakar and Paris. This painter had the privilege of exhibiting her works at the famous Bardo Museum of Tunis during a Tunisian-Canadian collective exhibition.
The phenomenal and thriving artist Lina Iris Viktor will present her first major museum exhibit at The New Orleans Museum of Art, opening this fall. Titled Lina Iris Viktor: A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred, the installation will be on display from October 5th, 2018 through January 6th, 2019.
A Haven. A Hell. A Dream Deferred will feature an entirely new body of work created by Viktor that investigates the narratives surrounding America’s involvement in the founding of Liberia. Throughout the exhibit, the artist reimagines the rich history of Liberia’s colonial past. “Liberia appears in Viktor’s re-imagining as a kind of paradise lost, and as a cautionary tale,” said Allison Young, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow of Contemporary Art. “At the same time, her work transcends this narrative, revealing how examples of visual culture—from Dutch Wax fabrics to national emblems to gestures in the history of portraiture—exist as remnants of these colonial histories.”
Based in New York, the British-Liberian artist is highly known for her luxurious large-scale paintings and installations that are adorned with gold and include references to both modern and traditional West African culture.
“NOMA is pleased to present Lina Iris Viktor’s exhibition, and to foreground a lesser-known history of which the American South was a part,” said Susan Taylor, NOMA’s Montine McDaniel Freeman Director. “In this series, Viktor offers her unique perspective on a complex and multifaceted history.”
Programs related to the exhibition feature conversations led by Lina Iris Viktor and Allison Young, a film series, and a special talk with Viktor and curator Renée Mussai. For more information, please visit NOMA READ MORE........