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Collection: Robert Saint-Brice (Haitian, 1893-1973)
Robert Saint-Brice was born in Pétion-Ville, Haiti, on August 29, 1898, and died on August 20, 1973. He was not fortunate enough to learn to read and write. Until 1949, he served all sorts of professions to meet the ends: shopkeeper, cook, peddler, and a boy court.
Later in life, in his fifties, he met the American artist Alex Johnes, and his career began due to this association. Alex Jones, surprised by the early works of Saint-Brice, presented them to Dewitt Peters in 1949 and thus opened the doors for him at the “Centre d'Art.” Success came quickly. In 1955, the Flag Tanning Corporation Collection bought three of his works. In 1960 he had his first solo exhibition in New York. Haitian intellectuals greeted him as one of the largest primitive nations. A voodoo priest, Saint-Brice’s semi-abstract yet figurative art is a product of his time. He said to receive his inspiration in dreams, as messages from his ancestors. He often remakes the number three and has given this mysterious formula to explain his works.
“Saint-Brice’s paintings disturbed art critics in the early 1950s to the extent that was used to the descriptive realism of Haitian folk painters” (Peintres Haitiens by Gérald Alexis)