New exhibit opens March 7 @The Currier: ‘I live a journey of a thousand years’ by artist Raphaël Barontini

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La Bataille de Vertières by Raphaël Barontini – see it starting March 7 at the Currier Museum.

An Evening With Raphaël Barontini

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Advance tickets: $20 for non-yet-members; $10 for members.


MANCHESTER, NH – A new exhibition at the Currier Museum of Fine Art featuring the work of French artist Raphaël Barontini opens March 7 with an artist’s reception.

“I live a journey of a thousand years,” comprises about 20 works with a spotlight on La Bataille de Vertières (2023) as its centerpiece, a monumental 65-foot-wide painting that first premiered inside the Panthéon in Paris, and will be on view in the U.S. for the first time.

The work is complemented by recent work from U.S. private collections and several new pieces created specifically for the Currier Museum. 

Join the artist and Currier staff on Thursday, March 7, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to celebrate the opening of Barontini’s show. The event will feature classical guitar music in the Winter Garden Café, followed by curator and artist-led tours and remarks from the artist. 

If you’re unable to attend the opening, two members-only tours led by the artist have been planned for March 8, at 11 am and 2 pm. Registration is required. To learn more about membership, please visit currier.org/membership. 

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Artist Raphaël Barontini.

About the exhibit

The title paraphrases a passage from the poem Calendrier lagunaire, published in 1982 by the late Martinican author and politician Aimé Césaire, which reads: “I dwell in a thousand-year journey.” This is a journey that Barontini feels he is living, alongside those whose life experiences result from uprooting and displacement, and whose identities have been forged by encounters with other cultures through processes of creolization. These processes were described by Martinique-born French philosopher Édouard Glissant as a complex entanglement of different cultures forced into cohabitation, as in the case of the Antilles and other countries in the Caribbean. 

Barontini’s mother hails from the French West Indies, and so he is himself the product of such entanglement, which is further complicated by his European heritage. His work is an endless journey of self-discovery and historical excavation. Suspended between multiple fractured identities, Barontini continuously attempts to blur these lines – culturally, geopolitically, and historically. His work often surfaces the silenced stories of militants and freedom fighters, whom he celebrates as heroes mimicking and infiltrating the Western art canon and its representational and ceremonial modalities. 

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“Marie-Catherine Laveau,” 2024 – Acrylic, inks, silkscreen and glitters on canvas.

“I work daily with history and its past visual manifestations,” says Barontini. “These materials provide me with a framework. My practice is centered on storytelling and opening a dialogical space for interrogating our past […] The era of the triangular trade has interested me for a long time, because it is a pivotal moment in history. Its impact on the geopolitical, economic, and cultural relations between Europe, Africa, and the Americas persists. This painful historical juncture is also the breeding ground for an exceptional creolized culture, which turned the arts upside down. My work addresses these issues – but is primarily concerned with imagination.” 

The resulting imagery combines diverse references in a visual collage that perfectly exemplifies Glissant’s definition of the term “creole”: a cultural hybrid that is a blending of different cultural, linguistic, and social elements in a region. Similarly, Barontini’s work combines multiple references, resulting in images that are both familiar and arrestingly novel. His mixed-media technique and practice are equally layered and complex.

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Artist Raphaël Barontini preparing his upcoming exhibition at the Currier Museum.

About the Artist

Raphaël Barontini was born in 1984 in Saint-Denis, France, where he still lives and works. Barontini’s combination of photography, silkscreen printing, painting, and digital printing results in a style of painting in movement that offers a new perspective on history, whilst simultaneously asking questions about the very status of painting in a museum or public space. He will soon be the artist-in-residence at Villa Albertine in New Orleans.

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