Bernard Karfiol


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Painter. His figurative work indebted to French modernism gradually became less stylized. Karfiol was born in Budapest but grew up in New York and subsequently resided in the city or nearby. In 1900 he began his training at the National Academy of Design, but left the following year, at fifteen, for Paris. There he studied at the Académie Julian and the École des Beaux-Arts, while also absorbing much from art currents of the day. André Derain provided an important example, while Renoir, Cézanne, and early Picasso also contributed to Karfiol's formation as an artist. After returning to New York in 1906, he exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show and the following year first visited Ogunquit, Maine, where he thereafter summered. From French sources, along with an admiration for early Greek art, he developed a personal manner of elongating the human form, which he flattened somewhat and described with graceful contours. His psychologically inward figures usually appear within a shallow space, spread across the canvas to emphasize pattern rather than volume or depth, as in Summer (Corcoran Gallery, 1927). Karfiol's characteristic sense of unhurried repose prevails in this depiction of his wife and two teenage children at a table before the shore view from their summer home. Later he specialized in more monumentally rendered studio figures, nude or clothed, achieving in these works simple, unified effects. He died at his home in suburban Irvington-on-Hudson.

Subjects: Art.

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