Pioneer Passes

Submitted byadmin onMon, 02/01/2010 - 01:00

Jamaica is saddened by the loss of another of its stalwart artists Albert Huie who died over the weekend at age 89. Born in 1920, Huie developed his skills at the informal classes offered by the Institute of Jamaica during the late 1930s working alongside artists such as Edna Manley and Koren der Harootian. His art from this period reflects their pre-occupation with images that Jamaicans could better identify with as the country moved towards political independence. Street scenes, market vendors, landscapes and portraits such as the National Gallery of Jamaica's Vendor and Noontime that highlighted the dignity of working class people reflected Huie's developing sense of nationalism.

His portraits especially reflect a pride in blackness even before the black art's movement had come to prominence in the United States. Huie was a prodigious artist who went on to further his skills in Britain and develop a characteristic style indebted to Impressionism  but tempered by his use of Caribbean light, forms and subject matter. The study of his work has been furthered by its inclusion in local and Caribbean high school syllabi and he has been the subject of a monograph by Edward Lucie Smith Albert Huie: Father of Jamaican Painting (2001). For more on his work see Masterpieces from the National Collection and Huie in Caribbean Artists A-Z.