Charles Auffret (1929-2001)

Charles Auffret was born on the first of July 1929. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Dijon, where Pierre Honoré was his teacher, and he became familiar with the surrounding Burgundian sculpture: from the Autun, Cluny or Vézelay churches to the works of Claus Sluter, François Rude or François Pompon. In 1951, he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris to perfect his formation, and discovered other artists, whose works deeply moved him: Charles Despiau, Robert Wlérick, and especially Charles Malfray, whom he admired more than any other.

In 1958, he settled in the Buttes-Chaumont neighbourhood which he was never to leave. He was awarded several prizes, including the Groupe des Neuf prize in 1964. This reward was granted by nine independent sculptors who wished to support a younger artist by offering him a cast of his work by the Emile Godard foundry. He was invited to numerous exhibitions, both in France and abroad: in 1966, he participated in Sculptor drawings since Rodin in Bourges and Strasbourg, in 1970, in an exhibition at the Färg och Form Gallery in Stockholm together with Gudmar Olovson and René Babin, and in 1990, in French sculpture of our time in Madame du Barry’s Versailles hotel. He also showed his work throughout personal exhibitions: from 1978 to 1981 in the museums of Reims, Blois, Orléans, Amboise and Lille, in 1986 at the Taylor Foundation in Paris and in 1993 at the Annick Driguez Gallery in Paris also. After he died, the Nicolas Plescoff gallery and the Mainssieux Museum in Voiron paid tribute to his talent with two exhibitions, respectively in 2001 and in 2002. His most impressive works are Marie-Agnès Barrère, The Bacchant, Couple, Woman wiping her foot, and also the great figure of the Law which he designed in 1985 for the French Senate.

In 1958, he started teaching drawing at the Académie Malebranche, then went on teaching drawing and sculpture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Reims, where Léopold Kretz was a fellow teacher. In 1991, he was appointed teacher at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs.