In-Memoriam: Georges Remponeau

By ARC Magazine Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 Categories: Features, Tributes, Updates
 

Georges Remponeau, one of the main founding members of the Centre d’Art in Haiti and a leading Haitian artist of the 20th century passed away last Friday night, December 21, 2012, in New York.  Remponeau was born in Port-au-Prince on 16 September 1916.  In 1930, he met Pétion Savain and began to haunt the Pont Saint Gérard group. From a young age he had, on his own but passionately, nurtured his aptitudes for drawing and painting.  William Scott’s work was a revelation to him and, like Savain, he took a fresh start in the style of the black American painter.

Encouraged by his wife Madeleine, he decided to devote himself entirely to painting. In 1939, his painting Marchand de Cocos won a bronze medal at the International Exhibition organized by IBM. Shortly after his return to Haiti in 1943, he met Dewitt Peters and introduced to him artists and other intellectuals of Port-au-Prince. He was one of the main founders of the Centre d’Art in 1944. Art teacher in the new association, his influence on young artists was rather deep. He lived in New York since 1964. A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, January 5, 2012, St. Joachim & Anne RC Church (Queens Village, NY) at 11am.

Portrait of Georges by Sasha Huber. Zurich. 1999

Jany Tomba & Margarita Halaby previously wrote a short exposé on Remponeau’s life as an artist, teacher and father:

Legendary painter Geo Remponeau, who was born in 1916 in Port-au-Prince Haiti, turned 96 on September 16 2012 in New York where he has resided for the past 46 years. At a very early age, Remponeau showed his interest in drawing by depicting an upside down horse. As a teenager, he put his talent to good use and earned pocket money by creating advertising pieces for local businesses.

In the 1940′s, Remponeau at that time an accomplished artist, became instrumental in the Haitian art movement of the Centre d’ Art, an art center that focused on promoting and encouraging artists to get together and paint. Remponeau subsequently became a mentor to many young artists who themselves later on achieved their own success. Post Centre d’Art, Remponeau opened his own studio and gallery where he regularly featured upcoming artists. He was able to support his family by not only selling his paintings but also by teaching art at the University and by promoting images for many businesses in Port-au-Prince.

Although not the first Haitian artist, Remponeau’s strength lied in his love for his people. He was the first to show Black faces in school books illustrations. His portrayal of people at work revealed an idealized side of the nation: a proud people not afraid of hard work.Furthermore, Remponeau emphasized in a very classic style incredible landscapes, one of his famous one being the majestic cacti proudly erect against the blue mountains of Haiti. He deliciously painted a colorful and fruitful land.Remponeau’s work earned him many awards for his achievement in art as well for his contribution to the Haitian community. But his greatest award was his family and 6 children, most of whom inherited his talent for art. In addition, this passion for art resurfaced even among some of his grandchildren.

 

Thank you to Sasha Huber, grand daughter of Georges Remoneau for sharing this information with ARC’s community. Original post from the Toussaint Louverture Cultural Foundation Inc

ARC Magazine
ARC Magazine

ARC Inc. is a non-profit print and online publication and social platform launched in 2011. It seeks to fill a certain void by offering a critical space for contemporary artists to present their work while fostering and developing critical dialogues and opportunities for crucial points of exchange. ARC is an online and social space of interaction with a developed methodology of sharing information about contemporary practices, exhibitions, partnerships, and opportunities occurring in the Caribbean region and throughout its diasporas.