Until December 29, more than a hundred masterpieces and archive items from the end of the 18th century to the present have been gathered at the Memorial ACTe in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, for a historical exhibition that explores the founding role of the black model in the history of modern art.
After New York and Paris, this major exhibition dedicated to the black model in the European visual arts has been inaugurated in the Memorial ACTe in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe, for the first time in history.
The 700 m² (7,535 sq. ft.) of temporary exhibition spaces hold 120 paintings, sculptures, engravings, photographic clichés and documents often made by important people, from Delacroix to Picasso, thanks to a collaboration with the Orsay and Orangerie Museums in Paris and a partnership with the Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery in New York, but also the support of the Guadeloupe region and provincial or international museums, public institutions or private collectors.
The model, a subject examined and depicted by the artist
How have the images of "colored" men and women been constructed, deconstructed and reconstructed over time? Far from leading to a reflection on the representation of blacks as a social group, the exhibition explores the "model" both as a subject examined and depicted by the artist and as an example, a bearer of values.
The "Negro Joseph", a favorite character of Géricault's paintings, Laure, the maid from the famous painting "Olympia" by Edouard Manet, or Ady Fidelin, Man Ray's Guadeloupean partner: from ignorance to recognition, these figures are coming out of oblivion to show the founding role of the black model in the history of modern art, nourishing the societal debate in the process.
A space of memory
Set up inside the Memorial ACTe and conceived as a true beacon of memory from overseas, this exhibition resonates with the mission of its setting. Built on 7,124 m² (76,682 sq. ft.), on the site of a former sugar factory, the Caribbean Center for the Expression and Memory of the Slave Trade and Slavery of the Guadeloupe Islands is both a place of remembrance and a pioneering museum, mixing technological innovations and contemporary art.