Buffet Bernard

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Bernard Buffet French | 1928 - 1999

A founding member of the anti-abstraction group L’Homme Témoin (“The Witness-Man”), which also included Bernard Lorjou and André Minaux, French painter and printmaker Bernard Buffet was renowned for austere figurative paintings infused with social critique. Featuring thick, spiky black outlines and a restrained palette, Buffet’s landscapes, portraits, and still lifes were angular and confrontational—a stylistic choice that reflected the alienation and anxiety of his post-war generation. Art history, death, sexuality, politics, and religion were frequent themes throughout his oeuvre. Buffet was a prolific creator, producing around 8,000 artworks during his lifetime. He enjoyed wild success, then a spectacular critical downfall beginning in the 1950s; today, scholars are once again celebrating his legacy. His works can now be found in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, the Tate, and the Museum of Modern Art. A museum in Japan is devoted exclusively to Buffet’s practice.

A growing global interest in Buffet’s work has shed light on his illustrious career, revealing a provocative versatility and brutal creativity that resonate as much today as they did five decades ago.