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PROSPERE PIERRE LOUIS

(1947 -1996)

How fitting that this son of a voodoo priest, born in Bainet, would become the most important figure within the voodoo-inspired Saint Soleil movement, the avant-garde of Haitian contemporary art. Living and working in the village of Soissons la Montagne since the earty 1970s, Louis portrays the spirits of voodoo as amoebic forms with faces. Often they wear black berets. Though many of his intensely criss-crossed paintings are in somber black and white with discreet splashes of red and yellow, his large canvases reveal him as a supreme colorist known for balanced compositions of teeming spiritual life. Among his most important exhibitions are the Museum of Haitian Art in 1973, Institut Francis in Paris five times between 1974 and 1989, and Villa Medici in Rome in 1986.