Opening Celebration: Myrlande Constant
The Fowler Museum welcomes you to the opening celebration of Myrlande Constant: The Work of Radiance. Join us in honoring the groundbreaking, 30-year-long career of Haitian contemporary artist Myrlande Constant. At 6 pm, enjoy a conversation between exhibition co-curators Katherine Smith, Fowler curatorial and research associate of Haitian arts, and Jerry Philogene, associate professor of American studies at Dickinson College. An evening reception with light refreshments and music will follow from 7–9 pm.
Myrlande Constant was born 1968 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She is known for her striking beaded and sequin-embellished textiles. In 2022, her work was featured in The Milk of Dreams, Venice Biennale. In 2019, a solo exhibition of Constant’s work The Last Supper appeared at the Faena Hotel in Miami Beach, FL. Her work has also been shown in various group exhibitions including Reframing Haiti: Art, History and Performativity at Brown University (2011); Kafou: Haiti, Art and Vodou at Nottingham Contemporary (2012-13); and Pòtoprens: The Urban Artists of Port-au-Prince at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn, NY (2018), which traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami (2019). Constant’s work is included in the following museum collections: Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art, Rollins Museum of Art, Winter Park, FL; American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Fowler Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Miami, FL; Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL; RISD Museum, Providence, RI; and Waterloo Center for the Arts, Waterloo, IA.
Jerry Philogene is associate professor in the American studies department at Dickinson College. In addition to exploring the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, and gender as articulated in contemporary visual arts, her research and teaching focus us interdisciplinary American cultural and art history, African diasporic art history and visual arts, (with an emphasis on the Francophone Caribbean), black cultural politics, and theories of the African diaspora. Her articles have appeared in Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism, BOMB, Contemporary French and Francophone Studies, Radical History Review, MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, and the Journal of Haitian Studies. She is working on two book manuscripts: The Socially Dead and Improbable Citizen: Theorizing Visual Transformations of Haitian Citizenship and a monograph on mid-century Caribbean modernist painter, Luce Turnier. Philogene is the recipient of a 2020 Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant.
Katherine Smith received her PhD in culture and performance studies from the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. She has held fellowships at Brown University in the departments of africana studies and the history of art and architecture, and at New York University in the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Smith is presently a curatorial and research associate of Haitian arts at the Fowler Museum at UCLA, a lecturer in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/ Dance, and a visiting researcher at the UCLA International Institute. She has played a curatorial role in exhibitions of Haitian art at Brown University and UCLA. Smith publishes regularly in academic journals, edited volumes, and art catalogues on Haitian and Caribbean art and religion. She is currently revising her manuscript on death and religious transformation in urban Haiti. Smith’s latest research focuses on Freemasonry in the Black Atlantic.
Myrlande Constant: The Work of Radiance
The Work of Radiance is a retrospective of the groundbreaking, 30-year-long career of Myrlande Constant, an artist renowned for her monumental, hand-beaded textiles. The first U.S. museum exhibition devoted to the work of a Haitian female artist, The Work of Radiance and its accompanying publication trace the evolution of Constant’s artistic vision, innovative techniques, and impact on art-making in Haiti and the contemporary art world.Constant’s painstakingly beaded tableaux build on the drapo Vodou tradition and depict Haitians, Catholic saints, and Vodou spirits in both intimate and monumental scenes of Haitian history and everyday life. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated monograph featuring essays by curators, artists, and cultural figures (available in February 2023). The exhibition will be on view March 26–July 16, 2023.
Parking available in UCLA Lot 4, 198 Westwood Plaza, directly off Sunset Blvd; $3/hr or max $14/day. Rideshare drop-off at 305 Royce Dr.
Image: Myrlande Constant (b. 1968, Port-au-Prince, Haiti), Nègre Danbhalah Hwèdo, 1994–2019; sequins, glass beads, and silk on cotton; Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami; Museum purchase with funds provided by PAMM’s Collectors Council, with additional contributions provided by Karen Bechtel, Evelio and Lorena Gomez, Jorge M. Pérez, and Craig Robins; image © Myrlande Constant; photo courtesy of CENTRAL FINE; photograph by Armand Vaquer, 2020