Myrlande Constant: The Work of Radiance is the first museum retrospective of a contemporary Haitian female artist who has been creating groundbreaking work for thirty years. Constant's panels build on the drapo Vodou tradition, depicting the lwa as well as scenes of everyday life conducted in their company, unabashedly visualizing the permeable boundaries between spirits and humans. Few drapo artists have been as influential or ambitious as Constant. Her introduction of the tambour stitch to the drapo genre added narrative and history to the art form and enabled her to create densely detailed imagery. This volume accompanying the exhibition is the first monograph devoted solely to a Haitian woman artist. The essays, written by curators, academics, artists, and literary specialists, examine Constant's oeuvre through interdisciplinary lenses; situate her handmade beaded textiles within Haitian Vodou practices and contemporary art of the African diaspora; spotlight the evolution of her artistic vision and innovative techniques; and reflect on her impact on art making in Haiti and beyond.
About the Authors
Katherine Smith is a curatorial and research associate of Haitian arts at the Fowler Museum at UCLA and a lecturer in the UCLA Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance. Jerry Philogene is associate professor in the American Studies Department at Dickinson College.