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Haïti

Series: The botanic and fanciful universe of Rigaud Benoit

Rigaud Benoit was born in Port-au-Prince, where he started his career in a cigarette factory, then a taxi driver, banjo musician and shoemaker before becoming a painter. He is one of the most important Haitian painters to appear shortly after the opening of the Art Center. From 1948 to 1973, Benoit was a member of the Art Center’s Board of Directors.

Rigaud Benoit’s work is meticulous and thorough, and he does not hesitate to use a magnifying glass when executing small details. He paints scenes of Haitian life, voodoo scenes and religious scenes (Christian and voodoo, sometimes mixing the two together), and some still lifes. He proved to be an exceptional artist in terms of rigor and artistic non-conformism.

Damballah Wedo and His Consort, 1967
Oil on Board 19.25″ x 26.5″
Rigaud Benoît, Les Sirènes, 1956, Oil on masonite, Winslow Anderson Collection of Haitian Art, Huntington Museum of Art.
Untitled (La Sirene), 1955
Village Scene, 1955 – acrylic on board
35 1/2 x 47 1/2 in.
(90.17 x 120.65 cm.)
Simbi de l’eau (Simbi of the water), 1966
oil on board
24 x 20 in.
ex. private French Collection
Femme avec fleurs et fruits, 1981
oil on masonite

Represented in the realization of the series of murals of the Episcopal cathedral, he painted the Nativity above the altar. He prefers scenes with a narrative content, but does not hesitate to bring ambiguous meanings, always with a humorous touch. Benoit’s production of oil paintings is small, limited to less than half a dozen pieces per year.

His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Haïtien du Collège Saint Pierre in Port-au-Prince, the Figge Art Museum in Iowa, the Milwaukee Museum of Art and the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa.

Flower Carnival (Carnaval des Fleurs), 1973
Oil on Board
19.25″ x 26.5″
Vodou Priest, 1954
oil on board
19.5 x 24 in.
Nativity, c. 1950 20 x 16in (50.8 x 40.7cm)
Bird’s Nest, 1980
Oil on masonite
24 × 18 × 1 in
61 × 45.7 × 2.5 cm
oil on board
24 x 20 in.
ex. private French Collection

Follow Benoit online >

✽ Artsy

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