Bernard Buffet

Saturday, May 16, 2009

In France’s early sixties, the two artistic phenomena were undoubtedly Picasso and Buffet. The legendary Andy Warhol was quoted in 1985 as saying “the French indeed have a great painter…my favorite artist and the last great painter from Paris: Buffet”.

His pride and soul wounded to the bone by the 20th century way of life, where mankind showed proof of incredible brutality, Bernard Buffet sought solace in his art, repeatedly depicting the telltale signs of human failure.

Bernard Buffet worked non-stop and what always stands out in his paintings is the incredible balance he was able to strike, whether his work dealt with still life, the ocean, New York, Paris, insects, Annabel, bull fighting, landscapes, clowns or self-portraits. His paintings all follow a specific method, are rigorous while revealing a bit of “freshness”. Bernard Buffet’s images escape time and its limitations. Each year, the artist took on a new theme using the same procedure of “schematization”: the systematic lengthening of the face, a palette of rather cold colors, shapes having the same “dark” aura to them.

There is an exhibition about his work at La Vieille Charité in Marseilles until the 7th of June.