Bernard Rancillac

France, 1931 - 2021

Bernard Rancillac began his studies at the atelier of S. W. Hayter in 1959, and is one of the leading artists of “Critical Figuration”. He quickly abandoned the informal style and abstraction, and reproduced the events of everyday life in his painting. Politically orientated, he drew inspiration from the turbulence of his time, through cinema, advertising, comics, press, pornography, photography and real facts. Rancillac spent his career reflecting on the transformations of post-industrialization and the rise of the consumer society. In his body of work, some of the recurring themes are: the Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the Cultural Revolution in China, the decolonization of African countries, the conflicts in Palestine and Chile, Apartheid, etc. Bernard Rancillac actively criticized American interventions, directly through the incorporating of journalistic photographs and indirectly through the use of iconic animation characters such as Mickey Mouse.