Ronald Cyrille

Photo: Cédric Isham

In collaboration with Mémorial ACTe Centre Caribeén d’Expressions et de Mémoire de la Traite et de l’Esclavage in Guadeloupe, the 2020 CCI Artist Fellowship was awarded to visual artist Ronald Cyrille, also known as Black Bird. During the Fellowship, Cyrille had a studio in the premises of Mémorial ACTe, where he produced a series of new works. As part of the Fellowship Program, Cyrille had the opportunity to engage in a series of virtual studio visits with international and regional scholars and curators, including Dr. Marsha Pearce, Claire Tancons, Dr. Terri Geis, Giscard Bouchotte, and Simon Njami. Through this program, Dr. Jerry Philogene will write the first extensive essay on Cyrille’s practice in English; Dr. Philogene’s text will be published on the CCI website in the summer of 2021. This spring, the CCI will also publish an interview between the artist and Claire Tancons in the website’s Forum section. Finally, an exhibition and publication will be presented this year at Mémorial ACTe highlighting Cyrille’s works. 

Recognized for his public art works and surreal imageries, Cyrille creates paintings, drawings, sculptures, and murals that present his personal mythology. His colorful and energetic brushstrokes reveal otherworldly figures in dreamlike settings, evincing humor, satire, and Caribbean histories. Inspired by the writings of Édouard Glissant and Aimé Césaire, Cyrille evokes the lusciousness of the Caribbean landscape alongside the region’s instability and idiosyncrasies.

Cyrille’s work has been presented in solo exhibitions at prestigious venues including the Volta Art Fair, New York; Rémy Niansouta Cultural Center, Pointe-à-Pitre, Guadeloupe; the Clément Foundation, and Atrium, both in Fort-de-France, Martinique. Cyrille has participated in group exhibitions at Hunter East Harlem Galleries, New York; the Little Haiti Cultural Center, Miami; and Tout-Le-Monde Festival, Miami, among others. He lives and works in Guadeloupe.

The 2020 Artist Fellowship is presented in collaboration with Mémorial ACTe in Guadeloupe; and the support from the Cultural Services at the French Embassy in the United States and the France Florida Foundation for the Arts.

Ronald Cyrille. Bipopie 1 & 2 (diptych), 2014. Colored pencil on colored Canson paper, cut and pasted. 19.6 x 25.5 inches. Photo: Daniel Dabriou

Ronald Cyrille. Abécédaire series, 2016. Mixed media, colored pencil, pen on paper. 25.5 x 19.6 inches. Photo: Daniel Dabriou 

Ronald Cyrille. Abécédaire series, 2016. Mixed media, colored pencil, pen on paper. 25.5 x 19.6 inches. Photo: Daniel Dabriou 

Ronald Cyrille. Talk shit, 2013. Mixed media on Ilford photo paper. 21.8 x 15.7 inches. Photo: David Dancre