The Vault: Bernard Buffet

May 1 – June 3, 2018

The Vault

Bernard Buffet, Self-Portrait, 1959. Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University, Bequest of the Estate of Janet Beach Beatty.

This work was selected by Kelsie Lane (class of 2020), who explains: “I chose this work because I thought that the mark making was really unique; the thin, straight lines, used even in the signature, created an interesting shape. The expression that the artist was able to create with this shape is incredible as well, really emphasizing the contours and wrinkles of the face and the very pronounced eye bags and nasolabial folds. Overall, the piece feels somber and melancholy, which plays in an interesting way against Buffet's very distinct and bold style. I think that it's important to put this work on display because it's a notable piece in the collection, and because it's one of those rare pieces that feels both graphic and very painterly.”

The Vault

The Vault, which also houses some of the works from our permanent collection, is dedicated to featuring and displaying works chosen by MSU students who work at the museum. Each month, one of our student gallery guides selects a piece from our collection and writes a short text explaining why they chose it and believe it should be displayed. By providing our gallery guides with an opportunity to participate in the curatorial process of selection and display, we aim to open a dialogue with the student community while simultaneously sharing with the public works from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage.