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PIASA to offer Haitian art, from 1940 up to now
The PIASA auction offers the chance to discover a field of artistic creativity whose richness and variety remains little known – and often dismissed as ‘exotic' despite expressing the history, beliefs and cultural mix of a country that has interacted for centuries with the rest of the world.

PARIS.- On Thursday 19 October 2017, PIASA will hold an exceptional sale of Art From Haiti in conjunction with the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince. The auction will feature major works that reflect the wealth and diversity of Haiti's artistic output since the 1940s.

In 2014 the exhibition Haïti: Deux Siècles de Création Artistique (‘Haiti – Two Centuries of Artistic Creation') showcased Haitian art at the Grand Palais in Paris. The next stage in promoting art from Haiti sees PIASA offer nearly 100 works, representing the country's leading artistic movements, selected by the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince. The auction will feature no fewer than sixty artists working in different styles – Naïve, Surrealist, Modern, the Saint Soleil School, metal sculptors and artists from today's contemporary scene.

' A terrible tragedy was the starting-point for the friendship and partnership between the Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso and the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince: the earthquake of 2010. Faced with this human and cultural drama, our shared determination, in association with the Fondation Fokal, helped the cradle of Haitian art to be reborn as somewhere today's artists can study, meet, exchange and show their work. The Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso is proud to be associated with a new step in the resurrection of the Centre d'Art: an exceptional auction that will enable the French and international public to discover the riches of Haitian art of yesterday and today. ' Marina Nahmias (President of the Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso)

The PIASA auction offers the chance to discover a field of artistic creativity whose richness and variety remains little known – and often dismissed as ‘exotic' despite expressing the history, beliefs and cultural mix of a country that has interacted for centuries with the rest of the world.

‘Haitian art refects a culture which fights, yet transcends, adversity by cultivating a love of life and beauty' observes Axelle Liautaud, President of the Centre d'Art's Board of Directors. ‘The Centre d'Art and its partners hope this auction will give fresh impulse to Haitian art and redefine its role and status. The Centre d'Art has, in the past, attracted cultural luminaries from André Breton to the movie-maker Jonathan Demme, via the Rockefellers and Jackie Kennedy. We hope this sale will attract new collectors by giving them the opportunity to acquire quality works rarely available outside Haiti.' Axelle Liautaud, présidente du Conseil d'administration du Centre d'art

Ever since its launch in 1944 – by the American DeWitt Peters, aided by Haiti artists and intellectuals – the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince has been a venue for training, exchange and promotion, contributing to the vitality and international reputation of artistic creativity in Haiti. The Centre was behind the emergence of artists such as Hector Hyppolite, Antonio Joseph, Rigaud Benoît, Georges Liautaud and, moe recently, Edouard Duval Carrie. It is the epicentre of a Caribbean intellectual and artistic scene represented by Nicolas Guillen, Alejo Carpentier, Jose Gomez Sicre and Wifredo Lam. The Centre welcomed André Breton, Pierre Mabille and André Malraux, who – in his essay L'Intemporel – declared Haiti to be inhabited by ‘a people of artists.'

Today, seven years after Centre was destroyed by the earthquake that devastated Haiti, it has risen from the ashes to breath new energy into Haitian visual art. The Centre's role extends to laying the foundations for an art market in Haiti, and enabling important Haitian works to enter museums and institutions like the MOMA in New York.
It is, then, only natural for the Centre d'Art to team up with PIASA for an auction aiming to foment new interest in Haiti's contemporary art among public and collectors.

Other partners in the auction include the Fondation Daniel & Nina Carasso, the Fondation Connaissance & Liberté (FOKAL) and the Fondation pour le Rayonnement de l'Art Haïtien whose founders Philippe-Loïc Jacob and Miguel Bardeggia believe the auction offers art from Haiti a fresh chance to appeal to Parisians, after the splendid Haiti exhibition in 2014. Promoting art from Haiti is what our project is all about, so it is only natural for us to be involved in the auction organized by PIASA and the Centre d'Art.'

To Christophe Person, Head of Development & Strategy at PIASA, ‘the sheer variety of Haitian art echoes that of Art Brut and African contemporary art – both of which exert tremendous appeal on the Western art market.'

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