Synopsis by Sarah Welsh
Although the enigmatic and profoundly serious painter Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) gained worldwide popularity with his stark and tragic canvases, he was only reluctantly acknowledged by the art establishment in his native land -- where, smitten by abstract expression, the French considered Buffet's lifelong commitment to figurative painting incredibly passe. Director Valerie Exposito's engrossing documentary, released shortly before the artist's 1999 suicide, goes inside Buffet's cloistered studio for an intimate look at his life and work. Relying heavily on interviews and diary excerpts from writer Annabel Buffet -- the artist's wife, muse, model, and closest companion -- as well as archival footage and commentary from friends and critics, Exposito explores the eccentric, difficult genius that both goaded and nourished Buffet through so many years of laborious creation.
art, artist, France, painting, suicide