Bernard Buffet

Bernard Buffet was born in Paris in 1928 where he lived until his death in 1999. He was a well-known painter of Expressionism and member of the anti-abstract art group ‘L'homme Témoin’ (The Witness Man). At just fifteen years of age, Buffet commenced his studies at the Paris École des Beaux-Arts. He was a young man during World War II, the profundity of which greatly affected his childhood and stayed with him throughout his life. His restricted palette, the melancholy nature of his protagonists and his unique sketched style with its black, angular strokes, are the visible characteristics which embody the dark and light of the human condition. Embodying Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existentialism and Albert Camus’s Absurdism, Bernard Buffet’s painting conveyed the anxiety that permeated France during the occupation and came to dominate the post-war figurative art scene. Buffet’s oeuvre was loved by the public but fell out of favour with the art  establishment in the 60’s. Buffet created 8,000 pieces of art during his lifetime and his distinct style and inarguable influence has since inspired posthumous critical acclaim. In 1973, the Bernard Buffet Museum was inaugurated in Japan. Ever since, the artist’s work has been featured in the most prestigious modern art collections around the world including the MoMA, New York, the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris and the State Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow.  

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