Collection: Bernard Wah (Haitian, 1939-1981)
Bernard Wah began to draw at ten years of age and studied ceramics and sculpture at the Ceramics Center. By seventeen, he was teaching decoration and sculpture there. Around this time, he became interested in painting and music and composed songs as well as writing poetry. In 1961, Wah was already a highly regarded painter, and the government gave him the task of restoring the artworks in public gardens and cultural centers. He contributed to the murals at the capital’s airport and founded the state-approved School of Plastic Arts. In 1963, he created the Calfou Art Center, which included poets, musicians, painters, and playwrights. As a recipient of a scholarship from the French Institute, Wah left for France in 1965 and exhibited his work there on two occasions. He settled in New York in 1966 in order to pursue his studies. From 1967 to 1978 he exhibited in several countries, including the United States and Canada. (La Peinture Haitienne/Haitian Arts by Marie-José Nadal and Gérald Bloncourt, Editions Nathan, Paris, 1986) “Like El Greco’s, Wah elongated figures fit into his circular compositions. In the artist’s view, they express the violence to which he was subjected” (Gérald Alexis in his book, Peintres Haitiens). Get the Book Now! Many of his paintings were purchased by art collectors. He was commissioned to paint four murals at the Haitian airport, and five murals at the Exposition grounds. Bernard Wah passed away in August 1980 in New York.