Christian Berard

Boris Kochno, Author Clarkson N Potter Publishers $75 (0p) ISBN 978-0-394-57013-6
Christian Berard (1902-1949) died at the theater while giving stage directions. With frantic energy this Parisian designer invented sets and costumes for plays, movies and ballets by Cocteau, Genet, Giradoux and others. His fashion illustrations graced Vogue , and he dabbled in interior decoration, poster art and book illustration. The charm and luxuriant wit of Berard's creations are on display in this scrapbook of reminiscences, essays and photographs assembled by his long-time friend Kochno. Yet his claim to be taken seriously as a painter is the book's focushe led the so-called neo-humanist group in its revolt against cubism. In his most famous picture, Double Portrait on the Beach , he painted himself as a surly, shapeless, middle-aged woman on an infinite stretch of sand. His series of portraits of sadly staring boys exudes raw power. Berard emerges as an unclassifiable painter, like his friend Balthus, if not nearly as original. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
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