A bold and dramatic countryside home is reduced to its essentials in this compelling Expressionist oil painting by French artist Bernard Buffet. Buffet's often monochromatic works are instantly recognizable for the harsh black contours delineating his subjects, and his imagery, at once direct and indelibly haunting, reflect his renowned avant-garde attitude. In the present work, entitled Maison Dans La Campagne (House in the Countryside), he applies his distinctively personal style to a lone building facade, paring the barren landscape down to its most essential elements.
Part of the artistic group known as "L'homme Témoin" ("The Witness-Men"), Buffet's canvases were in direct opposition to the ideals of abstraction, favoring to instead express feelings rather than physical reality. Here, the rich dark colors, the haunting grey-green background, and the harsh, bold lines combine to present a visceral visual masterpiece.
Signature: Signed "Bernard Buffet" (upper right); dated "1982" (upper left)
ate Gallery, London
Musee Bernard Buffet, Shizuoka, Japan
Boca Raton Museum of Art
Ca la Ghironda, Bologna
Kunstmuseum Walter, Augsburg
Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
Tampere Art Museum
Wellside Gallery, Seoul
About Bernard Buffet
Embodying Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existentialism and Albert Camus’s Absurdism, Bernard Buffet’s painting conveyed the anxiety that permeated France during the Nazi occupation and came to dominate the post-war figurative art scene. A member of a group called L’Homme Témoin (The Witness) along with Bernard Lorjout and André Minaux, Buffet developed a realist style infused with social criticism, featuring a restrained palette and black outlines. He is best known for his grim “Horror of War” series and myriad streetscapes and interior scenes populated by angular, emotionless figures. Self-portraits, religious scenes, still lifes also figure among his oeuvre, which extends to lithography, engraving, and sculpture. While Buffet continued to enjoy success as a commercial artist until a debilitating illness prompted him to commit suicide, his work fell out of favor among critics in the 1960s and remains relatively unknown.
French, 1928-1999, Paris, France, based in Paris, France