International Caribbean Art Fair (ICAFair)

Featured Gallery

Galerie Bourbon-Lally (Haiti)

By CAW Magazine

Posted: November 9, 2009

Carlos Estevéz :: Galerie Bourbon-Lally

Carlos Estevéz,Out of Mind MiamiCourtesy: Galerie Bourbon-Lally

Galerie Bourbon-Lally opened its doors in Pétionville, Haiti, in 1992. It quickly established a reputation as Haiti's number one eclectic and international gallery. The gallery is owned by Reynald Lally, who is originally from England, and Christiane Bourbon, who was born in Martinique.

 

Christiane and Reynald were both working in Algiers, Algeria, when they came across a book about Haitian art during a trip to London. They were fascinated by the images of paintings by a group of Haitian self-taught artists. This discovery led to a trip to Haiti for carnival in 1982, which changed their lives. "I still remember the first taxi ride from the airport: a car with holes on the floor, and a machete on the passenger seat," says Reynald. After spending a few disappointing days in Port-au-Prince by the selection of artists in the galleries, Christiane and Reynald headed for Jacmel in the south of Haiti. While in Jacmel, they came across two fabulous galleries run by two Americans: Selden Rodman and Bob Britcson. And they soon learned about the new generation of self-taught artists such as: Prospère Pierre-Louis, Louisiane St Fleurant, Denis Smith, Thialy and Lafortune Felix. They returned to Algiers with the start of an art collection and a new passion.

 

After several visits to Haiti, Christiane and Reynald decided to resign their positions in Algeria, and moved to Haiti and opened an art gallery. They arrived in Haiti in September 1991, and 10 days later, there was a coup d'etat and the international community imposed a trade embargo on Haiti. The gallery finally opened in May 1992 in the midst of trade sanctions when businesses were closing, and a boom time for smugglars.

 

In the beginning, the gallery specialized in Outsider Art from Haiti. A year later, the gallery moved to a new location on the same street. The gallery's strategy was to slowly introducte contemporary artists from Haiti, then artists from Cuba, Brazil and the Dominican Republic. Solo shows were held for Tiga (Jean-Claude Garoute), Mario Benjamin, Vladimir Cybil, Edouard Duval-Carrié, Belkis Ayon, and Rene Pena.

 

Over the years, Reynald has acted as a consultant for the Haitian selection for the exhibtion "Caribe Insular" in the Museo Extremeo e Ibericoamericano in Spain, and also for the exhibition "Haiti, Anges et Demons," Halle St Pierre, Paris. In 2005, Reynald was contacted by the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to select Haitian Art to tour Brazil. He has helped with selections for the Havana Biennial, and was twice the Haitian art curator at the "Bienal des Caribe." On both occasions, Haiti won top prizes. Reynald was the catalyst behind the careers of the Grand Rue artists, when they were still unknown to the international community, by selecting them for the important exhibition "Lespris Endepandan," an exhibition of Haitian sculpture at the Frost Museum in Miami.

 

Galerie Bourbon-Lally has participated in many art fairs: Arco, Scope, Outsider Art Fair, ArteAmericas, NFBAS, and ICAFair. This year the gallery will participate in Pinta, the Latin American art fair in New York. Selected gallery artists are: Mario Benjamin, Haiti; Edouard Duval-Carrié, USA/Haiti; Vladimir Cybil, USA/Haiti; Roberto Stephenson, Haiti; Marie Helène Cauvin, Haiti; Pierrot Barra, Haiti; Guyodo, Haiti; Eugène, Haiti; Celeur, Haiti; Lionel St Eloi, Haiti; and artists that are influenced by Vaudou; Belkis Ayon, Cuba; Santiago Rodrigues Olazalbal, Cuba; Carlos Estevez, Cuba; Elsa Mora, Cuba; Lawrence Graham-Brown, Jamaica; Dionne Simpson, Canada/Jamaica; and others from Latin America and Africa.

 

Galerie Bourbon-Lally offers many services to include art consultation, art appraisals, and packing and shipping.

 

The gallery is located at 12 Rue Garnier, Bourdon, Haiti. For more information, visit the gallery's websites at: www.bourbonlally.com and www.mariobenjamin.com.

 

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