Elizabeth Martineau : Biography


Born in Port-au-Prince, Haïti.
Lives and works in Washington DC, USA.

   

I am made of that mixture of earth, light and history
that is
Haïti. My roots are deep, and the colors of my country are engraved forever in my memory. “

 

 Elizabeth Martineau’s paintings are an explosion of luminous colors, sparkling with flecks of gold. They reflect not only the vibrant personality of the artist, but also her rich and diverse background, her far-ranging life experiences, her love for Haïti, and her passion for the arts. 

Martineau “breathed art” from the earliest age. Born to a poet and a clothing designer, she grew up in Port-au-Prince in the home of her uncle, the architect and sculptor Albert Mangones. Mangones was a co-founder of the Centre d’Art, where all of Haïti’s artists congregated. Among his friends and frequent guests were Charlie Chaplin, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, le Corbusier, Alexander Calder, and Lois Mailou Jones, who was also Martineau’s godmother. Martineau recalls that, for her birthdays, these artists would give her paintings instead of toys.

Martineau approaches her work like a sculptor. She applies layers of paper of varying sizes and textures on a sheet of Arches paper and paints with acrylic over this support. Her subjects are delineated by a thick, black brushstroke, and brought to life with deep and bright colors. Finished with streaks of golden paint and a coat of varnish, the paintings’ rich, warm tones glimmer – with more or less intensity depending on the light – creating a feeling of intimacy. Although her themes are extremely varied, the same arresting style creates a cohesive ensemble that captures the imagination. 

Looking at these artworks is like reading a book, each layer corresponding to a different chapter. The serene gaze of the sitters, waiting expectantly or posing casually; the presence of the forest priestesses, vibrant and deeply empowered; the enigma of the masks and totems, reverberating energy… our interpretation of each piece depends on our own perceptions and experiences, on our mindset. The artwork not only takes us on a trip to the Caribbean, Africa or beyond, but also on a trip within us. 

A graduate of the School of Fine Arts and Textile Design of the University of Medellín, in Colombia, and of the Corcoran School of Art, in Washington DC, Martineau has exhibited in Colombia, France, Haiti and the United States. Her work is featured in numerous collections.  

 

Art Education

 

Corcoran School of Art, Washington DC, USA

BA in Fine Arts and Textile Design, University of Medellín, Colombia

 

Exhibits

 

Solo Exhibits

2019

The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC

Femme-Fleurs, F. Clay-Tor Gallery, Washington, DC

2015

Galerie Marassa, Miami, Florida

2012

Galerie Marassa, Miami

2008

Galerie Marassa, Miami, Florida

2006

Tina’s Gallery, Potomac, MD

2005

Tina’s Gallery, Potomac, MD

2004

The Design Center, Miami

2002

Levi Artefacts, Washington, DC, solo

2001

Levi Artefacts, Washington DC

1991

Galeria Botero, Medellin, Colombia

 

 

Duo Exhibits

2019

The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC

2017

The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC

2011

L’Air du Temps – Artists Martineau & Ratinoff, The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC

2003

Row Gallery, Arlington, Virginia

1997

Tina’s Gallery, Potomac, MD

 

 

Collective Exhibits

2018

Le Toit de la Grande Arche, Paris, France

2017

The Watergate Gallery, Washington DC

1998

Femmes et créations, Le Toit de la Grande Arche, Paris, France

1995

The World Bank, Washington DC

1992

Organization of the American States, Washington DC

1990

International Art Forum, New Orleans

Galerie Marrasa, Port-au-Prince, Haïti

1989

Galerie Marrasa, Port-au-Prince, Haïti

1987

Galerie Marrasa, Miami, Florida

1986

Galeria Botero, Medellin, Colombia

Gallery François, Washington DC, solo

1985

Gallery François, Washington DC

1984

Gallery François, Washington DC

1983

The World Bank, Washington DC

 

Collections

Organization of American States

Embassy of Haiti in the United States

Levi Turner Collection

Several of her artworks have been gifted by collectors to the Detroit Institute of Arts and the

Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.