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La Plage (The Beach)

La Plage (The Beach), 1957 by Bernard Buffet is an original etching on Rives BFK paper. This print is signed in the lower right and numbered in the lower left. Published by ‘Parentheses’, and printed by Atelier Lacouriere et Frelaut. Rheims 13.

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.

La Plage (The Beach) exhibits how Buffet 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.

Title

La Plage (The Beach)

Medium

Etching

Year

1957

Edition

50

Signature

Signed, numbered

Size 22 x 27 (in)
56 x 68 (cm)
Price Price on Request
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Description

La Plage (The Beach), 1957 by Bernard Buffet is an original etching on Rives BFK paper. This print is signed in the lower right and numbered in the lower left. Published by ‘Parentheses’, and printed by Atelier Lacouriere et Frelaut. Rheims 13.

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.

La Plage (The Beach) exhibits how Buffet 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.

Buffet was born in Paris in 1928 and grew up during the Nazi occupation, enduring the war and years of deprivation, and the experience inspired much of the glum imagery in his work. He excelled in painting and drawing, winning prestigious prizes and attracting attention with a signature style recognizable by thick, angular black lines that outlined his somber themes.

Buffet was known for his clowns

While his paintings were not necessarily “pretty,” the thirst for a modern ideal created an appetite for his stark, somber images expressing intense emotion. His style focused on the older, more conservative statutes of art, such as drawing, while playing on the ongoing popularity of Existentialism. Buffet’s figures were long, melancholy and solitary, yet somehow sympathetic; and they resonated with the public and critics alike.

Although frequently viewed as heavy and foreboding, there is also a level of beauty in the work of Bernard Buffet. His style is defined by “dry” straight lines revealing the shape of buildings and bodies. His works show elongated, emaciated figures and structures and lend a feeling of despair and loneliness. He shows Paris itself, traditionally portrayed as lively and colorful, in a hard and lifeless manner. While predecessors like Renior and Caillebotte used rain and stippled light to give beauty to each Parisian world they depicted, Buffet shows us the grace in the city’s structure, relying on the importance of drawing, the basis of all great work. This fundamental and visually heavy approach actually shows us the underlying beauty of such a popular and visually pleasing city.

Additional information

Title

La Plage (The Beach)

Medium

Etching

Year

1957

Edition

50

Signature

Signed, numbered

Size 22 x 27 (in)
56 x 68 (cm)
Price Price on Request