Arena for Contemporary African, African-American and Caribbean Art

Cy Gavin



Cy Gavin

The Future of Tucker’s Point, 2015






When VNH Gallery opened in the Marais space formerly home to the legendary Paris gallery Yvon Lambert in 2015, founders Victoire de Pourtalès and Hélène Nguyen-Ban knew they had big shoes to fill. Over the past three years, the gallery has risen to the challenge, developing an ambitious program of solo exhibitions by international emerging and established artists. The gallery’s current exhibition, Devils’ Isle, is the first French solo show by American painter Cy Gavin, whose work will also be the focus of the gallery’s presentation at Independent.


Bather II, 2018


Tuckers’s Town, 2016

Gavin, 33, is originally from Pittsburgh, but his lush, large-scale paintings often take their cues from the landscapes of the Caribbean, particularly his father’s native Bermuda. Often incorporating untraditional materials, including sand, blood, ashes, and, most recently, denim in lieu of canvas, his works have often featured loaded sites tied to Bermuda’s role as a key node in the transatlantic slave trade and the ongoing legacies of racism and colonialism in the present.(text VNH Gallery)


Bather I, 2017


Gavin’s work sometimes recalls Renaissance portrayals of the nude, except for two major distinctions: that Gavin is alive for the secular twenty-first century, and that all of his characters are black. He’s a sensitive minder of history, in ways specific to his Afro-Caribbean American lineage as well as to the complicated, canonical mantle inherited by any figurative painter finding his way in the West.(quote from Flash Art, April 2018)