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PORTRAITS IMAGINAIRES / SCULPTURES-TABLEAUX-GRAVURES // HENRI BEAUFOUR

September 07 - November 23, 2024

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Portraits imaginaires / sculptures-tableaux-gravures by Henri Beaufour


Curator: Valerio Deho

Artist: Henri Beaufour


Vernissage: September 6 at 6pm 

Opening hours: 11am - 2pm / 3pm - 6pm

In September: open from Tuesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays),

In October and November: open from Wednesday to Sunday (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

Free admittance


Address: Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina, Calle delle Erbe 6104, Cannaregio 30121

Website: Henri Beaufour / Instagram account: @henribeaufour


Henri Beaufour’s artistic work has focused primarily on the study of the human face—of the portrait—in the classical sense of the expression of individuality, characteristics, and the differences between individuals. For this French artist, though, it is not merely a matter of focusing on descriptions of realistic persons; instead, he works on creating something situated halfway between imagination and effective reality.


In his capacity as a sculptor, painter, or engraver, Beaufour never adheres entirely to reality; rather, he creates intuitively in the moment and, above all, according to his profound erudition in the humanities and literature. While his work can be defined as a ‘journey to the end of matter’, it is also true that his explorations of human psychology often reveal literary resonances, in which the characters belong to a story suspended between the truth of reason and the immensity of fantasy.

Henri Beaufour’s output is original, certainly—timeless, almost, and far removed from fads and nostalgia: a body of work of great depth, but one that is also often imbued with irony.

Physical deformities may call to mind the sculptures of 18th-century German-Austrian artist Franz Xaver

Messerschmidt, but equally, they combine dramatic and expressive intensity with an occasional vein of sarcasm.

Even though his works feature classic animals of sculpture, such as dogs, horses, or more unusual animals such as pigs, the subject of Beaufour’s art has almost always been the representation of men or women.


The Venice exhibition features works from the 1990s to the present day, with marble and bronze sculptures, drawings, and acrylics tracing a personal path of research that ranks among the most original in contemporary art. On the ground floor of the Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina, some large-scale sculptures will point the way, while a series of murals will o‑er up a panorama of the complexity of Henri Beaufour’s productions; some forty works in all, to introduce to the general public the magnitude of the artist’s work and the experiments he has conducted across all the languages of art to define his own vision of the world.









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