Samuel Buri

Trois Fauteuils Pour "La Nouvelle Subjectivité", 1976
Acrylic on paper & wood
Three parts, each 150 x 150 cm

The work of Samuel Buri (*1935 Täuffelen, CH) might be summarised in the following terms: depictions of nature with unnatural, bold and vibrant colours. And yet that only goes part of the way to describing his extensive body of work. But however his work is categorised, it always revolves around colour. His use of pigment complies with the principles of geometric abstraction as well as the boundaries of figurative representation. A search for Buri's predecessor and source of inspiration reveals parallels to the work of Henri Matisse (*1869 Le Cateau-Cambrésis, FR; †1954 Nice, FR) and his composition of pictorial space. Like Matisse, Buri tends to flatten the space between foreground and background through the use of strong, flattened colours, hinting at spatial depth only through the objects depicted. While the colours he applies are evocative of the expressionist movement, the painting technique he uses and his choice of themes from nature remind us of pointillism and impressionism. He was brought closer to Claude Monet (*1840 Paris, FR; †1926 Giverny, FR) by a visit to Giverny that began in 1971. In his triptych entitled Trois fauteuils pour la Nouvelle Subjectivité [Three chairs for New Subjectivity], first exhibited in 1976 at Fondation Rothschild in a show of the same name, Buri applies bold colours using a pointillist technique. His use of flattened colours eliminates the background, but the melding of painting and collage lends this work a certain plasticity. Buri's paintings are thus infused with countless references to great painters and styles. Still, he manages through blending and re-interpretation to imbue his pictures with an individual, fresh expression that never fades. 

© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn