Art Exhibition: Hervé Télémaque at Martinique’s Fondation Clément


The Clément Foundation [Fondation Clément] will host a new exhibition by Hervé Télémaque, in collaboration with Paris’s Pompidou Centre, from January 24 to April 17, 2016.  Curator Christian Briend calls it “the most ambitious exhibition ever devoted to the Haitian artist” in Martinique. [Also see a fascinating article by Aica Caraïbe du Sud on the new space in which this exhibition is housed at Fondation Clément, designed by architects Reichen and Robert & Associates.] Briend writes:

The “Hervé Télémaque” exhibition [. . .] at Fondation Clément is a result of the retrospective that the Pompidou Centre and the Cantini Museum in Marseille successfully presented last year. The exhibition in Martinique proves to be quite different in terms of the selection of works as well as its “conception.”

According to the artist’s wishes, the double exhibition in France, turned the spotlight on French public collections. Remembering his first status as immigrant, in this way, the Haitian painter wanted to show his gratitude to his host country, whose cultural officials had, early on and regularly, provided entry to the public collections. However, national and regional collections were unable to gather a fully representative array of Télémaque’s work. Therefore, of the seventy-four paintings, graphic works, and sculptures that made up the exhibition in Paris and Marseille, only thirteen were from private collections. At the Clement Foundation, the proportion was reversed, since only twenty-two works are from public collections out of the fifty-three exhibited.

Practical reasons (incompatible formats paints with the conditions of air transport, but also conservation requirements for drawings and collages) led, not only to tighten the selection, but also to replace pieces that had become unavailable with twenty-three new works. So the starting project was greatly modified. Having had to abandon works on paper as well as the “thin sculptures” of 1968 and 1969, however important in Télémaque’s trajectory, the exhibition in Martinique, with a few exceptions, a retrospective centered on his paintings.

[. . .] Peppered with intimate references, the Télémaque’s complex work naturally invites, as it always has, commentary and exegesis. Among those who merrily attempted it, notably critic Anne Tronche authored a remarkable monograph published in 2003. A few years earlier she conducted one of the most insightful interviews with the artist. It is to this great observer of contemporary art, with her sensitive and generous gaze—who abruptly passed away last October—that we wish to dedicate this exhibition.

For full article, see

[Photo above from]

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