Community Folk Art Center presents Philippe Dodard
The Idea of Modernity in Haitian Contemporary Art
To open its fall exhibition season, Community Folk Art Center presents “Philippe Dodard: The Idea of Modernity in Haitian Contemporary Art, ” featuring artwork by the internationally acclaimed and multi-talented Haitian artist. The exhibition, curated by artist and scholar Babacar Mbow, will be on view from Sept. 14-Dec. 7.
At the opening reception on Saturday, Sept. 14, CFAC’s featured artist Dodard; Paul Altidor, Haiti's ambassador to the United States; and acclaimed Chef Alain Lemaire will be in attendance. During the reception, Dodard will give a gallery talk and Lemaire, who is catering the reception, will present a culinary conversation about Haitian cuisine.
Through bold brush strokes and vibrant color combinations, Dodard critically engages and empowers audiences throughout the world. Born and raised in Haiti, Dodard studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Port-au-Prince and the International School of Bordeaux, France, where he explored graphic design. Although paintings are featured in this exhibition, Dodard is a diverse artist whose body of work includes metalwork, large sculptures and jewelry. Dodard’s incredible talent has resulted in international recognition and creative collaborations, including his most recent with fashion designer Donna Karan. Irrespective of the discipline or media, Dodard’s aesthetic reflects his love for Haiti.
As his social and political influence continues to expand, Dodard continues to use art as a viable platform through which social awareness, growth and progress is highlighted and interrogated. About his own work, Dodard notes, “My work builds on the socio-historical experiences of African diaspora and indigenous peoples of the Americas. I am interested by the crevasses of history and how they allow slippages, contours, detours, appropriations and contestations.”
Following the uprisings against government in Haiti in 1986, Dodard’s art transformed into angered brushstrokes of black and white inks, covered in thick paints of value and depth, dark wooden totems and metal structures reflecting the cries for freedom for the Haitian people.
Programming during the run of the exhibition will include famous Haitian artists, including author Elsie Augustave, who will be facilitating a creative writing workshop and book signing in October. Violinist Daniel Bernard Roumain will perform in October and there will be a special screening of the film “Toussaint L’Ouverture.” Attendees are encouraged to engage and continue in the “Idea of Modernity” social media conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the exhibition hashtag #ModernHaiti.