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Interview with Gallerist Hervé Loevenbruck

The Loevenbruck Gallery is participating in Frieze New York 2019. Its founder, Hervé Loevenbruck will dedicate his booth to present the underrated work of the Haïtian artist, Roland Dorcély.

  • Could you introduce the gallery?

I created my gallery to showcase the young artists that I represent: Virginie Barré, Dewar & Gicquel, Philippe Mayaux, Bruno Peinado etc. Twenty-seven years on, they are part of the generation that proudly represents the French art scene in mainland France as well as abroad. Many have been finalists or laureates of the Marcel Duchamp Prize, for example, and their work is championed by leading curators all over the world. Naturally, I also help artists from abroad, mostly European. And, for the past ten years or so, I’ve also represented the estates of major artists such as Gilles Aillaud, Michel Parmentier and Alina Szapocznikow. I now collaborate with the gallery Hauser & Wirth on that.

  • Which artists in the gallery did you choose to present?

I chose to devote my whole stand to the Haitian painter and poet Roland Dorcély. Born in 1930, he passed away in New York back in 2017 after an unconventional career. A pioneer and pillar of the modern art scene in Haiti, he had a remarkable early career in France and the US, before a sudden retirement from the artistic sphere at the age of only 33.

  • What are the works presented at the booth?

I’ve brought together an exceptional collection of his paintings dating from 1958 to 1960, the period during which he was living in Paris with his friends Wifredo Lam, Michel Leiris, André Masson, Roberto Matta, etc. The critic Gérald Alexis considers this “Caribbean” painting: Dorcély willingly represents nude paintings, tropical landscapes, animals, scenes of Haitian rural life, in a palette of bold colors with strong, solid-colored paint. Several of the paintings on the stand use the subject of his work “When to Relax?”, which went into the MoMA collections in 1958 and which features a naked female body in front of a straw chair.

  • Why did you choose to take part in Frieze and what are your expectations as far as your presence both in NYC and in the USA more broadly is concerned?

Haiti has made strong, age-old bonds with France, but also with the USA. After the war, various French and American tourists visited Haiti, but also big cultural figures, like the Hollywood producer David O. Selnick and Jean-Paul Sartre, who Dorcély met on this occasion. Thanks to the support of the Warners, a couple who were art collectors and patrons, Dorcély was collected very early in the United States, by large museums but also by big fans of his work, such as Nelson Rockefeller. I believe that, nowadays, artists such as Roland Dorcély have the opportunity to benefit from a new perspective, one that is fresh, curious, compassionate. Many American creators and collectors demonstrate a strong curiosity for historical African-American and Caribbean artists. Roland Dorcély is a major figure and I hope that his unique and powerful work benefits from the new generation of both amateurs and professionals today.


In partnership with the CPGA - Comité Professionnel des Galeries d'Art.

Photo credit : Roland Dorcély, la toilette (Nu devant le miroir), circa 1958. Huile sur toile, 54x65cm Courtesy galerie Loevenbruck, Paris c. Photo Fabrice Gousset, courtesy galerie Loevenbruck, Paris.