1899-1991 (Croix-des-Bouquets, Haiti)

A blacksmith and self-taught sculptor, Georges Liautaud was a successful forger of traditional crosses at the cemetery in Croix-des-Bouquets. Yet it was the personal touches on his work which prompted artist Antonio Joseph and DeWitt Peters to bring him to le Centre d’Art in 1950. Liautaud would go on to become one of the studio’s most innovative alumni, repurposing railway spikes and oil drums in a fertile re-interpretation of the deities and rituals of Haitian life.

Liautaud’s characteristic flourishes, his graphic eyelashes, porkpie hats, and inverted silhouettes, were always accompanied by an inescapable sense of delight in his own perception. Graced with a solo installation at the São Paulo Biennale in 1959, Liautaud’s work went on to enter the collections at the Museum of Modern Art and the Milwaukee Art Museum.