Robert Buhler RA (Swiss / British 1916 – 1989)
Woman in a garden
Oil on canvas
16.1/4 x 20.1/2 in. (41.3 x 51.3cm.)
Signed ‘Buhler –‘ (lower right)
Robert Buhler’s parents were Swiss and he studied commercial art in Zurich and Basel. He returned to London in 1933 and enrolled at St. Martin’s school of art the following year under Vivienne Pitchforth and Leon Underwood. He won a scholarship to the RCA but only stayed for 6 weeks. He was very friendly with the Eastern Road school but was not identified as a member. Their influences played a part in his somewhat restrained tones. He exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer exhibitions from ’45-’48. Three such examples are exhibited at the Tate Gallery, the Royal Academy and the Museum of London collection. Of his portraiture sitters included Steven Spender, Ruskin Speare, John Minton and Francis Bacon. Buhler taught at many of the top London colleges including Chelsea and the Royal college of Art and exhibited at the New English Art club, the Leicester Gallery and the Redfern Gallery among others. In 1948 he joined the London Group and in 1982 he won the Wollaston award at the Royal Academy. He was regualary part of the selection process for the Summer exhibitions.
This composition is intentionally very green, the figure mysteriously hidden but her contrasting reds direct the viewer. The brushstrokes are loose and free, it is in keeping with other examples which are similarly verdant.