Bernard Sejourne was a Haitian painter and sculptor born on November 20, 1947, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He began his formal art education after graduating from high school and went on to study at several institutions, including the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Port-au-Prince, the Jamaica School of Arts and Crafts in Kingston, the Art Students League of New York, and the American Art School in New York.
Sejourne is best known for his contributions to the “School of Beauty” style, a genre that he co-founded with three other artists during the period between 1960 and 1980. His work often depicts peacefulness, beauty, elegance, and grace with subtle luminosity, as exemplified in his painting “Mille Fleures.” Sejourne was a versatile artist who explored many genres, and his themes often included women in a post-war expressionist contemporary style, flowers, beaches, and landscapes in a representational or abstract style.
Sejourne frequently exhibited his work in Haiti, and he also participated in international events such as the Festival of Black Art held in Dakar in 1956 and the Montreal Expo in 1957. His work has been displayed in several museums, including the Brooklyn and Milwaukee museums. Sejourne’s art has also been collected by prestigious institutions and individuals, such as the Baroness de Rothschild’s collection in France. In fact, the Baroness commissioned Sejourne to create an original piece for her collection of about 42 artworks by renowned artists such as Picasso, Miro, Braque, Dali, Kandinsky, Chagall, Warhol, Soulages, and others who had created pieces for the Mouton Rothschild wine label.
Sejourne’s mastery of space, form, color, and volume created both modern figurative works and near-abstract works of referential elements. He usually painted with acrylic on large surfaces of Masonite to heighten the desired impact or emotion, as seen in “Mille Fleures.” His use of fluid lines and subtle luminosity creates a unique and captivating symphony of brown and off-gold colors in this painting.
Bernard Sejourne passed away in 1994, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. His legacy lives on through his remarkable contributions to Haitian and international art, particularly through his co-founding of the “School of Beauty” style and his masterful paintings and sculptures.