BIOGRAPHY - Gabriel Alix (1930 - 1998)
Gabriel Alix was a twentieth-century Haitian primitivist painter, part of the first prominent generation of modern Haitian painters. He was born in Saint-Marc, one of the largest towns on the Haitian coast, about 57 miles north of the capital of Port-au-Prince. He arrived in the capital in 1946, where his friend Hector Hyppolite was already doing very well at the Centre d’Art. He soon became a part of the first prominent generation of Haitian modern painters, who became known abroad in the 1940s. This was partly thanks to the French surrealist painter André Breton. On a visit to Haiti in 1945, Breton met with Hyppolite at the Centre d’Art. Later, Breton wrote about Hyppolite, popularizing him and his colleagues among the French avant-garde. While Alix initially drew on traditional Haitian art forms and scenes from daily life, he is best known for his works that include lush vegetation and animals inspired by traditional Haitian art and naïve and primitivist painting. His wife, Madeline Mirvil, was also a painter who made jungle scenes.
He was highly regarded for his innovative use of color and form and was considered a leading figure in the Haitian art world. Alix passed away in October 1998.