Artist biography

Bernard Buffet born 1928

French painter, etcher, lithographer, designer and occasional sculptor. Born in Paris. Began to study drawing at evening classes in 1943, then attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts 1944-5. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie des Impressions d'Art, Paris, 1947. Awarded the Prix de la Critique jointly with Lorjou in 1948 at the age of twenty, and quickly achieved precocious international celebrity with highly-stylised linear figure compositions and still lifes expressive of the mood of austerity and anxiety in France during the Occupation. Voted by French critics and curators in 1955 the most outstanding young painter. Illustrated several books, including drypoints for Les Chants de Maldoror by Lautréamont 1952, and designed for the ballet and the opera. His works include series of huge figure compositions on such themes as 'The Passion', 'The Horror of War' and 'The Circus'. Lives in the Chateau l'Arc at Aix-en-Provence. A museum of his work was opened in Japan in 1973, near Mishima.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.85