Bernard Buffet is one of the behemoths of French art who you’ve possibly never heard of. Once rich and flashy yet reviled, he’s on the ‘Fabulous Five’ list of France’s mid-20th century movers and shakers – alongside Bardot, Vadim, Sagan and Saint-Laurent – but died in relative anonymity in Provence in 1999 (suffering from Parkinson’s disease, he calmly placed a plastic bag over his head and bid his farewell), with more than 8,000 paintings to his name.
Foulkes deserves much credit for trawling through so much French archive material – Buffet never received much recognition outside France and so much of the story was only available in the artist’s native tongue – and for allowing himself to become so obsessed with his subject that he could extract riveting detail and exclusive interviews through the Buffet estate. Art lovers will enjoy this book, so too will those keen to gain access to a long-lost world of creative glamour.
Bernard Buffet, The Invention of the Modern Mega-artist. By Nicholas Foulkes. List Price: $34.95. Preface Publishing
From France Today magazine
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