Iris, (genevieve lahens esper), an architect by trade has been painting for the last 16 years. Without pretension or gaudiness, her paintings impact first by the simplicity of their language. Silent understanding. Measured lines. Jarring rhythms. Her art works unfold like a customary dance that brings out beauty and feeling. Her paintings and sculpture (wood and recycled iron), have no reference to time. You can’t tell where she is from – Africa, Asia or Europe. Emancipated or eluding a permanent residence, her art work would fit in a space yet to be classified where the traditional, the ancient and the spiritual absorb the fragrance of modernity. You could describe them as-“something that the new millennium is expecting, totally universal with a background of the spiritual.”“Much sensitivity, spontaneity and rectitude. One is amazed with the equilibrium obtained. From this perfect dosage of powers a poetry warm and delightful.”
Genevieve Iris Esper is a Haitian Modernist who studied at L’Ecole Beaux Art in Paris and has an art degree in architecture. Iris did not begin painting until she was 33 and at 39 she is still called upon to execute the occasional structural design, but purely creative art is now her domain. The artist’s distinctive style shows architectural influences of Byzantine and medieval style, intricate geometric patterns and folk art symbols, these paintings all the while are executed in bold Haitian colors. Author, Marie Alice Theard explains in her book Haiti, la voie de nos silences, that Iris sets up correspondences with the compositions, decomposition, and re-compositions, naive or sophisticated, drawn from the abysses of vaudou. Her retina captures and transmits the signs, sacred symbols and forms of Taino heritage. She performs a descriptive execution of the western academic referrals. She also remembers Saint-Soleil. The heretic characters of her paintings, void of narrative content, give off the aspect of an Egyptian bas-relief. She has exhibited widely throughout Haiti, France, and Florida. Most recently, she has shown at the Espace Klee Gallery, Paris France, The United Nations, New York, and The Black Arts Festival in New York. This is her first exhibition in Washington, DC.
1985 DPLG DEGREE IN ARCHITECTURE
École des Beaux-Arts Paris
1981 B.SC. IN ARCHITECTURAL ENGINEERING
Faculty of SciencesUniversité d’État d’Haïti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
2013 Gemmail and stained glass
Atelier Lalande, Belves, France
Atelier circulaire de Montréal, Montreal
Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal
Architectural Design, Caribbean Biennale of Architecture, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1990Poster Design, Festival Vues d’Afrique, Montreal, 2011
PUBLIC ART COMMISSIONS
1% for Art commission for the FOKAL building, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
Stained-glass window for Saint-Martial church, Cazenac, France (with Atelier Lalande), 2012
Stained-glass window for Saint-Jean Baptiste church, Montplaisant, France (with Atelier Lalande), 2014
2013 Artist residency, Dordogne, France
1996-2004After-school program art instructor, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
2000-present Professional artist
1985-2000 Deputy manager and architect, Esper Architectes, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
1985 Intern, Agence d’architecture Archipel, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
1959 Born in Port-au-Prince, Haïti
1981 Graduated in Engineering – Faculté des Sciences – Port-au-Prince, Haïti 1985
• Graduated in Architecture, DPLG – Ecole des Beaux Arts – Paris, France
• Training in Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe – Agence d’architecture Archipel 1991
• Award of Design at The Caribbean Biennale of Architecture – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
• Embrace painting as a career
2018 Group show, 5 th Biennal of Scred Art, Collioure,France.
2017 Duo Show, » Transrefractions de Âmes Métisses »,galerie 24 Beaubourg,Paris.
2017 Group show, port olimpic, Barcelona, Spain
2017 Duo Show, «La traversée » maison des arts du barcares, Barcares, France
2016 Duo Show messages de nephilim,espace culturel de Rignac,france
2015 Raconte-moi Haïti, group show, Centre d’histoire de Montréal, Montreal
January 2013 Artifact, solo show, New York
March 2013 Villa Pacot, solo show, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
July 2013 Viva Vida Gallery, solo show, Montreal
September 2013 Espace Faubourg, solo show, Paris
December 2013 Artifact, solo show, New York
Selective previous exhibitions
2012 Stained-glass window, Saint-Martial church, Cazenac, France (with Atelier Lalande)
2012 Raconte-moi Haïti, group show, Maison de la culture Montréal -Nord, Montreal
2012 Journées de la culture, solo show, Château de Bersaillin, Doubs, France
2011 L’art contre l’oubli, group show, Centre culturel du Lièvre d’Or, Dreux, France
2011 Festival Vues d’Afrique, solo show, Centre de créativité le Gesù, Montreal
2011 In the Spirit, group show, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C.
2010 Répliques de couleurs et d’émotions,solo show, Espace Faubourg,Paris
2009 Artistes à tous vents, group show,Centre culturel de Blavozy, France
2009 Toronto Art Expo, group show, Toronto
2009 Petits formats du Québec,group show, Galerie Desiris, Geneva
2008 Art Contemporain d’Expression Sud (ACES), group show, Montreal
2008 Duo show, CALQ / Chez le Portuguais, Montreal
2007 Apple II, group show, Color Elefante, Valencia, Spain
2007 New York Arts Beijing, group show, Beijing
2007 Broadway Gallery, group show, New York
2007 National Black Fine Art Show, group show, New York
2006 Méandres de la mémoire, (Haïti, 200 ans d’histoire à partager), group show, TOHU, Montreal
2006 Fête de la sculpture, group show, Institut français en Haïti, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
2006 Group exhibit – meandres de la memoire »,TOHU, Montreal. Canada
2005 Solo exhibit, private home. Manhattan, New York.
2004 Group Exhibit — Contemporary Art Festival — Martinique, France.
• Solo exhibit ¬— International vision, The gallery, wahshington DC, USA
• group exhibit —Broward Government building, Fort Lauderdale, USA.
• Artist in residence program in Furcy, Haiti with 9 contemporary Haitian artists,
• group exhibit —Galerie Marassa, Petion ville, Haiti.
2003 Solo Exposition – “Mémoire, tradition, émotion”, Paintings & Sculptures from Iris — United Nations, New York
• Solo Exhibit — Espace Klee Gallery — Paris, France
2002 Broward County — Main Library, — Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA.
• Collective Exhibit — Black Art Festival — Soho, New York
2001 Collective Exhibition — Mytos en el caribe — Casa de Las Americas, La Havana, Cuba.
• Collective Exhibition — Black Art Festival — Soho, New York.
• Group Exhibit — Haiti Generation 2000 — Gallery Bourbon Lally, Montreal, Canada.
• Group Exhibit — North Atlanta Trade Center Folk Festival — Atlanta, USA.
2000 Solo Exposition – Nation Bank Tower – Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
• Art Exposition – Art expo Florida – Coconut Grove Convention Center – Miami Florida, U.S.A.
• Solo Exposition – Le Centre D’Art – Port-au-Prince, Haïti
• Collective Exposition – United Nations, New York – UNIFEM exhibit featuring the art of fifty artists from around the world
1999 Solo Exposition – Art Frenzie – Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A.
• Collective Exhibition – Milagro Center – Delray Beach, Florida, U.S.A.
1998 Art Exposition “Indigo” – Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
• Solo Exposition – Ryals Gallery – Boca Raton, Florida, U.S.A.
1997 Art Exhibition – Musée du Panthéon National – Port-au-Prince, Haïti
• Art Exhibition — Art America — Miami Beach Convention Center – Miami, Florida, U.S.A
• Permanent Exposition – Haitian art collection – Delray Beach, Florida, U.S.A
1996 Collective Exposition – Ritz Hotel – Pétion-Ville, Haïti
• Collective Exposition – “Indigo” – Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe
• Solo Exposition – Festival Arts Gallery – Pétion-Ville, Haïti
• Art Exposition ink on paper – Fanal Gallery – Port-au-Prince, Haïti
1995 Solo Exposition — Paintings – Fanal Gallery — Port-au-Prince, Haïti
1992 Collective Exposition – Galerie Afrah – Thomassin, Haïti 1994