Vol 4 No 1 (2023)
Histories and Politics of the Bienal de São Paulo

Picturing Haiti: Philomé Obin, Hector Hyppolite, and the Participation of the Centre d’Art at the 4th Bienal de São Paulo (1957)

Bruno Pinheiro



− Abstract

This article analyses the participation of Philomé Obin and Hector Hyppolite, artists associated with the Centre d’Art, in Haiti’s national representation at the 4th Bienal do Museu de Arte Moderna de São Paulo in 1957. This study examines the negotiations that took place between 1951 and 1957, which made it possible for the artist to participate. The research is based on the correspondence found at the Wanda Svevo Historical Archive. Furthermore, the text highlights the involvement of the Visual Arts Section of the Pan-American Union in the production of aesthetic and political projects with the intention of achieving hegemony on a continental scale. Finally, the article proposes a reading of the works presented at the exhibition by Obin and Hippolyte. It suggests that those artists contributed to a political culture that aimed to combat the marginalisation of the Haitian social experience through the dynamics of visibility.

− Keywords
Bienal de São Paulo, Centre d'Art, Philomé Obin, Hector Hyppolite, Haitian modernism, 1950s