Bernard Buffet was once a celebrated French painter considered a potential great master. He even shared a lover with Yves Saint-Laurent, the equally celebrated Pierre Bergé. These clown paintings are part of what killed his reputation. Now it would seem that Buffet is enjoying a recrudescence. In New York last month, this clown sold for $218,500 in Sotheby’s day sale, far above the $120k high estimate.
Now, Colin Gleadell reports from Art Basel that Buffet is getting the solo artist booth treatment. In a market desperate for a discovering a “new” painter, the 8,000 work oeuvre of Buffet could offer lots of supply:
From Brussels, the delightfully named Sorry We’re Closed has assembled the last paintings by the once fashionable, but now largely ignored figurative painter Bernard Buffet. The Death series, as it is known, features skeletal self-portraits of a man who had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and decided to paint it out until the end. Six months later, he killed himself.
ArtBasel 2012: The Future’s Orange (Telegraph)