Buffet, Bernard

Born in Paris in 1928, Bernard Buffet is a French painter. Heir to history painting and the realist painters of the 19th century, he rejects the disappearance of the subject that is characteristic of lyrical abstraction, and paints classical subjects in abundance, such as still lifes, portraits and landscapes. For art critics of the time, partly opposed to abstraction, Bernard Buffet's work embodied the revival of French figuration. Discover his works on our online art gallery.

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Biography

Born in Paris in 1928, Bernard Buffet trained in drawing from an early age, entering the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris at fifteen. In 1945, after only two years of training, he left the school and exhibited his first work the following year, Self-portrait, at the Salon des moins de trente ans. It was the start of a dazzlingly successful career. In his twenties, he won the "Prix de la critique" ex-aequo with Bernard Lorjou at Galerie Saint-Placide in Paris. The Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris acquires his painting Still life with chicken. From 1953 onwards, after several books had been published on his subject[1]At the same time, thematic exhibitions of the artist's work were organized at Galerie Drouant-David, now Galerie David et Garnier. He was only thirty years old when, in 1958, a retrospective exhibition was held at the Galerie Charpentier and the Institut Français in Berlin. For the art critics of the time, partly opposed to abstraction, Bernard Buffet's work embodied the revival of French figuration. Heir to historical painting and the realist painters of the XIXth centurye In the 19th century, Buffet rejected the disappearance of the subject that was characteristic of lyrical abstraction. He painted classical subjects such as still lifes, portraits and landscapes. And yet, when the quarrel between realism and abstraction died out a few years later, it was this "Buffet style" that lost him in the eyes of the same critics, and still makes him a controversial and debated artist today. Successful with the general public, he was gradually abandoned by the art world. He was named Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur in 1971, and elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1974. In 2017, the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris organized a retrospective exhibition, paying tribute to this puzzling but brilliant career. [1]Bernard Buffet "by Pierres Descargues, published by Presses Littéraires de France, 1949. And an article by Aragon in "Lettres Françaises" 1953.