Accusé de peindre
This monograph examines the various stages of the career of Gustave Buchet, a painter who had an important role in the Parisian Avantgarde movements of the first half of the 20th century.
In fact, Buchet belongs to a generation of Swiss artists who were inspired by the artistic innovation born in Paris. He himself was active in the French capital during the period between the two World Wars. He visited Paris for the first time in 1910, after he completed his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva, and in 1915, having returned to his home town, he founded an association of artists whose aim was to resist the domination of Ferdinand Hodler. The following year, during another stay in Paris, he met Jeanne Hébuterne, who was to become Modigliani’s companion, and befriended Ossip Zadkine.
His painting was influenced by Futurism, and later by the Dada movement, which was in fact born in Geneva. In 1920, encouraged by Alexander Archipenko, he moved to Paris and participated in the exhibitions of the Section d’Or in different cities (Paris, Amsterdam, and Brussels). His compositions, rigorously constructed and brightly colored, bear witness to a very personal assimilation of Fernand Léger’s Post-Cubism, not to mention the purism that his compatriot Le Corbusier defended in the pages of L’Esprit Nouveau.
Buchet was also active in the field of applied arts. He showed his works at the Salon des Indépendants and in 1925 he participated in the exhibition L’art d’aujourd’hui, which brought together a group of abstract Constructivist artists. In the early Thirties, he gradually returned to a more conventional form of painting. He exhibited the resulting works in 1939, when he was forced to return to Switzerland. This evolution was welcomed by critics, who considered his “Cubist” past a mistake. In the Fifties he felt he had achieved a synthesis of his art, bringing back to life his love for composition and unleashing the full force of color.
With its lavish illustrations, this reference volume examines Gustave Buchet’s immense contribution to Swiss and European art in the first half of the 20th century.
Paul-André Jaccard was director of the Antenne Romande of the Swiss Institute for Art Research (SIK-ISEA) of the University of Lausanne. He has published several studies on modern Swiss art in the early 20th century and on its relationship with the Parisian Avantgarde movements. Among these is the volume Alice Bailly. La Fête étranger, published by 5 Continents Editions.