Born in Somerset East, Cape Province, he studied languages at University of Wits before turning to Art.
After 25 years of teaching, he retired to devout himself to full time painting; traveled abroad; few one-man exhibitions, several commissions, including landscape and interior compositions for the historic home.
Throughout all the phases of Carl Büchner’s career he revealed himself unwaveringly as a romantic humanist. The human figure has provided the most frequently-recurrent motif of his work; but even where it is absent – in still-life and landscape compositions – the imprint of recent use or nostalgia pervades the picture.
Büchner’s early paintings were consistently devoted to human subject matter. His figures were sensitively portrayed: slightly elongated forms, expressionist distortion an romantic color-usage contributing to the generally poetic effect. He made frequent use of the palette-knife, scrambling one color over another to create textural and tone variations in the flat color areas .
The early Sixties witnessed a phase of landscape painting and included several village scenes in the spirit of Karroo Village. Color, by now, had lost its early saturation, but an appealing nostalgia persisted in his scenes.Carl Büchner was associated over many years, first as student, then as colleague, with Maurice van Essche. The two artists shared a natural affinity in their sympathetic view of human subjects and Büchner might have been expected to reflect more of his mentor’s influence in his initial style; but he successfully avoided manifest eclecticism. However, at various moments later in his career, the younger painter drew closer in style and subject matter to Van Essche – and in so doing temporarily obscured the individuality of his personal romantic vision. Images of the tragic-comic Harlequin, portrayed so often by both artists, continued to be the best known and most popular aspects of Büchner’s work.