[Documents menu] Documents menu

From editor@haiti-progres.com Sun Aug 12 10:22:53 2001
Date: Wed, 8 Aug 2001 23:48:13 -0500 (CDT)
From: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Haiti_Progr=E8s?= <editor@haiti-progres.com>
Subject: This Week In Haiti vol.19 no.21 8/8/01
Article: 124262
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
X-UIDL: ASS"!MX="!f-_!!)[#"!

Artist Alexandre Gregoire Dies

By Charles Arthur, Haiti Progres, This Week in Haiti,
Vol. 19 no. 21, 8-14 August 2001

Considered one of the best of Haiti's first generation of so-called naive artists, Alexandre Gregoire died at his home in the southern coastal town of Jacmel on July 28, 2001. The painter, whose works now command four figure sums in US galleries, spent most of his adult life in the army, and did not turn to painting until late in life.

He was born in Jacmel, a once thriving coffee port in southern Haiti, on August 29, 1922, and his primary schooling from 1930-37 was with the Christian Teaching Brothers. For two years, he studied cabinet making at the Jacmel vocational school, but then in 1939 he joined the army, where he played the tuba and saxophone in the army band. In the 1950s, during the presidency of Paul Magloire, Gregoire left the army and joined the band at the National Palace.

It was not until 1968 that his interest turned from music to painting. At the urging of his friends, the painters, Prifete Duffaut and Pierre-Joseph Valcin, and with encouragement from the Centre d'Art in Port-au-Prince, Gregoire soon developed a unique style. His oil on canvas paintings featured humourous and playful representations of both historical scenes and everyday life. In an interview with Michele Grandjean for the book Artistes en Haiti, Gregoire said, My life is a prayer and the painting is a sister to the prayer.

His work is included in the permanent collections of the Musie d'Art Haitien in Port-au-Prince, the Waterloo Museum of Art in Iowa, and the Milwaukee Art Center. In 1997, his paintings featured in Island on Fire, an exhibition of Hollywood film director Jonathan Demme's Haitian art collection, at the Equitable Gallery, New York.

Born: August 29, 1922. Died: July 28 2001