Bernard Buffet (1928 – 1999) is one of the major painters from the post-war generation of figurative painters. His expressionist art of narrative figuration is anchored in the radicality of a new, sharp expression, as opposed to any banality. Buffet carries a powerful, often violent look at the reality of modern life. His work is without any taboo, uncompromising, rich in a tragic vision and powerful plastic.
Two retrospective exhibitions of Bernard Buffet’s work took place in Paris in 2016-2017: “Buffet intimately” at the Montmartre Museum and “Bernard Buffet, Retrospective” at the Museum of Modern Art.
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1928 Born in Paris, France, July 10.
1943 Attended the Paris National School of Fine Arts. Self studies at the Louvre Museum.
1945 Won the Studio Works Prize from the Paris National School of Fine Arts.
1946 First showing at the Salon des moins de trente ans.
1947 Salon des indépendants, Paris.
1947 First solo exhibition presented by art critic Pierre Descargues at Librairie des Impressions d’art, Paris.
1948 Met Dr Maurice Girardin, his first important collector. His collection was given to the Paris Modern Art Museum.
1948 Won the Art Critic Prize.
1949 From this date on, an annual exhibition was held at Galerie Drouant-David (Galerie David et Garnier, Galerie Maurice Garnier).
1950 Was one of the founders of the Salon de la jeune peinture, organized by Pierre Descargues.
1955 Acclaimed as first of the 10 best after-war painters at the referendum from “Connaissance des arts” magazine.
1956 Buys a domain near Aix en Provence where he will live until 1964.
1971 Appointed Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour by French President Georges Pompidou.
1973 Opening of the Bernard Buffet Museum in Surugadaira (Japan).
1974 Appointed member of the French Fine Arts Academy.
1988 Opening of the extension of the Bernard Buffet Museum in Surugadaira, Japan.
1999 Died in Tourtour, France, on October 4.
Since 1949, annual exhibitions are organised in February of every year at Galerie Drouant-David, which first became Galerie David et Garnier in 1957 and Galerie Maurice Garnier in 1968.
Bernard Buffet had numerous foreign solo exhibitions in New York, Chicago, Palm Beach, Montreal, Vancouver, Tokyo, Osaka, Johannesburg, London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Warsaw, Basel, Zurich, Geneva, Rome, Venise, Milan, Madrid, among others.
Major retrospective exhibitions of his work
1958 Galerie Charpentier, Paris.
1958 Institut Français, Berlin.
1959 Casino, Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium.
1963 Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo et Kyoto, Japon.
1969 Unterlinden Museum, Colmar, France.
1977 Gemeentemuseum, Wieger Deurne, Netherlands.
1978 Musée Postal, Paris.
1985 Réfectoire des Jacobins, Toulouse, France.
1987 Odakyu Museum, Tokyo
1991 Pouchkine Museum, Moscou
1991 Ermitage Museum, Saint-Petersburg
1991 Hyundai Museum, Seoul
1993 Musée Gustave Courbet, Ornans, France.
1994 Documenta-Halle, Kassel
1995 Odakyu Museum, Tokyo
1996 Museum of Fine Arts, Kaoshiung, Taiwa
2006 Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Haag, Netherlands.
2008 Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt, Allemagne.
2016 Modern Art Museum, Paris, France
2016 Montmartre Museum, Paris, France
Museum of Modern Art, City of Paris
Petit Palais Museum, Paris
Modern Art Galleries of the Vatican, Rome
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
Museum of Modern Art, Lille, France
National Gallery of Armenia, Yerevan, Republic of Armenia
Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago.
Tate Gallery, London, UK
Museum of Art Roger-Quillot, Clermont-Ferrand, France
Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Illinois
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Harvard University Art Museums, Massachussetts.
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco