Bernard Dufour, French painter, Died at 93

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Bernard Dufour was born on November 21, 1922, and died on July 22, 2016.

He was a French painter.

Bernard was recognized for abstract painting after the Second World War, and later for portraits and human figures.

Initially, he studied agricultural engineering.

At the time of the German Occupation, he was pressed into war labour.

Dufour was sent to Germany with Alain Robbe-Grillet and there they met Claude Ollier.

Defour went to the University of Heidelberg and studied Eugène Delacroix and Stéphane Mallarmé, in the winter of 1944–45.

When the war was over, he copied works of Michelangelo and Tintoretto in the Louvre.

In 1948, Dufour had his first solo exhibition, held at the Galerie Maeght, followed by exhibitions in the Jeanne Bucher gallery between 1951 and 1953.

Highly motivated by these successes, he soon signed an exclusive contract with art dealer Pierre Loeb.

Bernard collaborated with many writers, including René de Solier, André Pieyre de Mandiargues, Georges Lambrichs, Paule Thévenin and Alain Jouffroy.

During the later 1950s, Bernard started to attract attention outside France; in 1959, he participated in the second documenta exhibition in Kassel.

Then in 1960, he turned from abstract to figurative painting, initially self-portraits and mournful figures, later scandalous nudes.

During 1961, Bernard opened a studio in an old mill on the Aveyron River in Foissac, where he also lived.

During 1964, Bernard had participated in the Venice Biennale.

Since that, Defour formed enduring friendships with other writers of the literary avant garde, such as Pierre Guyotat, Denis Roche, Catherine Millet and Jacques Henric.

In the 70’s, Defour worked in photography as well as painting, and wrote several volumes of artistic notes and memoirs.

And in his light La Belle Noiseuse, Jacques Rivette’s 1991 film about an elderly artist, was partly inspired by Dufour, who was credited as “the hand of the artist” painting the picture at the heart of the film.

During 1995, Dufour’s wife Martine died of cancer.

Before his death he had resided in Villeneuve.

Bernard Dufour passed away at 93 years old.

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