Jacques Enguerrand Gourgue

The son of a French psychiatrist and a Haitian mambo, Jacques Enguerrand Gourgue (1930 – 1996) was born in Port-au-Prince in 1930. By age 17, he joined the Centre d’Art and finished a painting called The Magic Table, now in the permanent collection of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. Haitian life and religion are common themes in his work, realized in a dark, rich palette that suggests a shadowy mysticism. His work can be either realistic or the product of Vodou dreams. (From: “Masterpieces of Haitian Art: Seven Decades of Unique Visual Heritage” by Candice Russell. Schiffer Publications Ltd, 2013.)

“Gourgue’s imagery is not easily interpreted by those not familiar with Haitian life, folklore, and religion. Juxtaposing familiar objects in a personal, always new and surprising way, his works seem to resist rather than to invite analysis. The artist’s intention is to force the viewer to meet him on the level of the subconscious, giving free rein to emotion and fantasy.” – Ute Stebich, Art Historian