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Endless Passage:  Edouard Duval-Carrié


Endless Passage: Edouard Duval-Carrié will be on exhibition at the Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, through September 7, 2003. 

The first mid-career survey of the renowned Haitian-born, Miami-based artist visually chronicles the spiritual and political histories of Haiti for over two decades. Through paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media works, the artist draws upon the complexities of French heritage in post-colonial Haiti. The rich surfaces and brilliant colors of Duval-Carrié's oil paintings lure viewers into a seeming Caribbean paradise. Yet his work delivers a powerful allegory of the epic discord in Haitian history. Addressing and tracing the physical passage and spiritual dislocation of Haitian people through the turbulent political history of Haiti from the pre-colonial period to the present day, the works that are simultaneously alluring and challenging, paradoxically sensual and brutal, simple and multi-layered.

Duval-Carrié's figurative style is a mix of elements from different art movements ­ Fauvism's vivid colors and free treatment of form; the drama, ornamentation and grand scale of the Baroque; and references to the folk art of self-taught Haitian artists. Many of the characters are spirits from the pantheon of Vaudou (or Voodoo as it's commonly known), the central religion in Haiti. Although sensationalized by Hollywood with images of zombies, Vaudou is in fact a complex hybrid of African religions and the Roman Catholicism enforced in Haiti when it was a French colony in the eighteenth century.  An original and distinct cultural expression, the religion was outlawed under French rule and became a rallying cry in Haiti's fight for independence, which was achieved in 1804. Vaudou is an evolving religion open to continual change, which allows Duval-Carrié to interpret the lives of spirits as they migrate to the United States.  

Contrary to the cool mainstream of post-minimal and post-conceptual contemporary art, Duval's work is passionate, emotional, and politically engaged.

Edouard Duval-Carrié: Endless Passage has been expanded at the Lowe with the addition of important loans from generous Miami-area collectors.

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