Bernard Buffet works star in Sotheby's Hong Kong selling exhibition



2016-09-05 15:31:25

Sotheby's is set to host a major selling exhibition featuring the work of the renowned French artist Bernard Buffet.

The exhibition in Hong Kong will feature works from every major period of Buffet's long and controversial career, focusing on his frequent depictions of clowns, still lives, animals and leisure scenes.

"We are delighted to present this tightly curated selection of works for the first time at Sotheby's Gallery in Hong Kong," said Jasmine Yan, Gallery Director of Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery.

"Including a wonderful selection of works, ranging from still life to figurative to landscape and dated throughout the artist’s long career, this selling exhibition shows why the artist is frequently ranked among the most significant practitioners in post-war France, and seen as one of the most prolific figurative artists."

Born in 1928, Buffet was regarded as a prodigious talent, having exhibited his first works in Paris in 1946 at the age of just 18. He quickly became a celebrity of the art world, hailed as a natural successor to Picasso, but his fame brought both financial success and critical disdain.

He established a system for producing more commercial works which, whilst winning him the admiration of his contemporary Andy Warhol, saw him shunned by many influential figures in his home country.

During the later years of his life Buffet became a semi-recluse, and having been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in the 1990s, lost the ability to work altogether. His final series was completed in 1999, and just weeks later he tragically committed suicide.

In recent years Buffet's work has attracted big prices at auction, and the Sotheby's selling exhibition will coincide with a number of international museum exhibitions, including two major retrospectives in Paris.

"The market for Bernard Buffet’s works has experienced steady growth in recent years, attracting attention from private collectors across the globe," said Scott Niichel, Vice President of Impressionist & Modern Art at Sotheby’s New York.

"The resurgence of interest spans not only the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Japan – the traditional market centres for Buffet – but also many new countries across the Americas, Europe and Asia, most notably including China. This summer, an auction record has been established for the artist, setting a new benchmark for the high-end Buffet market and bringing a number of fresh works to the market from private collections around the world."

Bernard Buffet: Infinite Jester takes place at Sotheby’s Hong Kong Gallery on September 14 – 24.

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