Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, 1974
Bernard Buffet (French: 10 July 1928 – 4 October 1999) was a French painter of Expressionism and a member of the anti-abstract art group “L’homme Témoin” (the Witness-Man).
Buffet was born in Paris, France, and studied art there at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National School of the Fine Arts) and worked in the studio of the painter Eugène Narbonne. Among his classmates were Maurice Boitel and Louis Vuillermoz.
Sustained by the picture-dealer Maurice Garnier, Buffet produced religious pieces, landscapes, portraits and still-lifes. In 1946, he had his first painting shown, a self-portrait, at the Salon des Moins de Trente Ans at the Galerie Beaux-Arts. He had at least one major exhibition every year. Buffet illustrated “Les Chants de Maldoror” written by Comte de Lautréamont in 1952. In 1955, he was awarded the first prize by the magazine Connaissance des arts, which named the 10 best post-war artists. In 1958, at the age of 30, the first retrospective of his work was held at the Galerie Charpentier.
Pierre Bergé was Buffet’s live-in lover until Bergé left Buffet for Yves Saint Laurent.
On 12 December 1958, Buffet married the writer and actress Annabel Schwob. His daughter Virginie was born in 1962, and later, daughter Danielle in 1963. His son Nicolas, was born in 1973, the same year that he was named “Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur”.
On 23 November 1973, the Bernard Buffet Museum was founded by Kiichiro Okano, in Surugadaira, Japan.
At the request of the French postal administration in 1978, he designed a stamp depicting the Institut et le Pont des Arts – on this occasion the Post Museum arranged a retrospective of his works.
Buffet created more than 8,000 paintings and many prints as well.
Buffet committed suicide at his home in Tourtour, southern France, on 4 October 1999. He was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and was no longer able to work. Police said that Buffet died around 4 p.m after putting his head in a plastic bag attached around his neck with tape.
Main and personal exhibitions:
1955 Bernard Buffet, Galerie Lucien Blanc, Aix-en-Provence
1955 Paintings by Bernard Buffet, Los Angeles County Museum
1957 Niveau Gallery, New York
1958 Cent tableaux de 1944 à 1958 par Bernard Buffet, Galerie Charpentier, Paris
1958 Les Voyages fantastiques de Cyrano de Bergerac, Musée Jacquemart-André, Paris
1958 Bernard Buffet, Institut français, Berlin
1963 Bernard Buffet, Musée national d’art moderne de Tokyo, Musée national d’art moderne de Kyoto
1968 Bernard Buffet, Radierungen, Städtische Kunsthalle Mannheim
1969 Bernard Buffet, Musée Unterlinden, Colmar
1978 Sapporo Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art
1978 Bernard Buffet, Musée postal, Paris
1980 Rétrospective itinérante de l’œuvre lithographié au Japon
1991 Musée Pouchkine, Moscou ; musée de l’Ermitage, Saint-Pétersbourg
1993 Bonjour Monsieur Buffet !, Musée Gustave Courbet, Ornans
1993 Vingt mille lieues sous les mers, Musée départemental de l’Oise, Beauvais
1993 Bernard Buffet, Château de Chenonceau
1994 Bernard Buffet retrospektive, Documenta-Halle, Kassel
1995 Bernard Buffet, Odakyu Museum of Art, Tokyo ; Takashimaya Museum of art, Kyoto ; Nara Sogo Museum, Nara ; Akita Senshu City Museum, Akita ; Hakodate Public Museum, Hokkaido ; Obihiro, Public Museum, Hokkaido
1997 Jeanne d’Arc, Palais de Justice, Rouen
1998 Bernard Buffet, Palais Bénédictine, Fécamp
2000 Musée Sogo, Yokohama
2003 Bernard Buffet, Musée Paul Valéry, Sète
2006 Bernard Buffet : een omstreden œuvre, Gemeentemuseum, La Haye
2007 Bernard Buffet et la Bretagne, Musée département breton, Quimper
2008 Bernard Buffet Maler, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Franckfort-sur-le Main
2009 Bernard Buffet, Centre de la Vieille Charité, Marseille
2009 Bernard Buffet et Annabel, Sogo Museum of Art in Yokohama
2010 Bernard Buffet, Meguro Museum, Tokyo
2014 Post 1958 : une symphonie de couleur en plus, Musée du Touquet-Paris-Plage, Le Touquet
2014 Salle d’exposition du Gouvernement, Andorre
2014-2015 Bernard Buffet, Hydar Aliyev Center, Bakou
2016-2017 Bernard Buffet Rétrospective, Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris
2016-2017 Bernard Buffet, Intimement, Musée de Montmartre, Paris
2017 Bernard Buffet/ Roger Dutilleul : A travers l’œil d’un collectionneur, Galerie Diane de Polignac & Chazournes, Paris