Hector Hyppolite, a Haitian legend
*Hector Hyppolite was born on this date 1894. He was a African Haitian painter.
From St. Marc, Haiti Hyppolite was educated as an apprentice shoemaker. He also worked as a cobbler, house-painter, furniture decorator, ship builder, and Innkeeper. A decisive figure in modern Haitian art, Hyppolite is generally considered to be the most important of the untrained painters in the mid twentieth century of his country. Details of his life are sparse but Hyppolite was known as a Houngan, or Voodoo Priest. During a five-year sojourn to Africa Hyppolite connection to the home of his ancestors was central to his artistic expression. In the early 1940’s he began painting with an association with Le Centre d’ Art in Port-au-Prince.
What followed was a brief but prolific period of creation that lasted until his death in 1948. The subjects of his work ranges from Christian themes, still life, and voodoo imagery. During the final years of his creative times, Hyppolite’s paintings attracted international attention including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. A legend in his country, Hyppolite is known for his aesthetically complex yet highly intuitive paintings.
The St. James Guide to Black Artist
Edited by Thomas Riggs
Copyright 1997, St. James Press, Detroit, MI
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