Studio Sunday: Bernard Buffet

A photo of Bernard Buffet at work in his studio


It’s Studio Sunday! Let’s take a look at the studio of Bernard Buffet. Buffet was a French painter associated with the art group L’Homme Temoin, who opposed pure abstraction and painted emotionally evocative figurative works. Buffet’s paintings tended to feature pale, skinny figures with backgrounds and scenery marked by heavy, intense brush marks.


Buffet’s studio as pictured here looks incredibly chaotic. The artist must have been a man who thrived in chaos, and even looking at him here I get the sense that he would become so consumed in his work that he wouldn’t give a though to tidying the studio. The space looks small, and the marks of paint that cover the walls, too, make me think of Lucian Freud’s studio space.


In the foreground, a couple of different small tables hold up various supplies – tubes of paint, brushes, palettes, a bowl of water or paint thinner. It’s quite a jumble, and I suspect that Buffet himself would be the only person who would know where to find anything in this studio. Looking at the space is like getting a direct view into the artist’s brain.


Buffet received a great deal of critical acclaim early in his career, and even had a retrospective exhibition of his work at the age of 30. The Bernard Buffet Museum in Surugadaira, Japan, was founded in 1973. The artist also designed a stamp for the French postal administration. Completing over 8,000 works over the course of his career, Buffet took his own life in 1999 after a battle with Parkinson’s disease.

[image source]

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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