The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Maurice Garnier.
Galerie Maurice Garnier, Paris Private Collection (acquired from the above circa 1980; sale: Christie's, New York, 9th November 2006, lot 473) Purchased from the above sale by the present owner
Busard et faucon pélerin was painted in 1988, shortly after Andy Warhol had referred to Bernard Buffet as ‘the last famous painter’ in an interview with Benjamin Buchloch. Buffet had gained international renown at an early stage of his career with his utterly distinctive painterly language, composed of bold angular planes and a strong linearity. Birds were a theme of enduring importance for Buffet, and the artist depicted various species – in particular owls and birds of prey – in his paintings throughout his career. One of his most significant bodies of work, exhibited in 1960, was entitled Les Oiseaux, revealing the immense importance of the bird motif within the artist’s œuvre. This group consisted of seven monumental canvases, each of which depicted a recumbent female nude in the presence of an oversized bird of prey. This somewhat disquieting juxtaposition aroused widespread critical debate and interest at the time, and visitors queued outside the venue in the Avenue Matignon for the duration of the exhibition in order to form their own opinion of Les Oiseaux. Buffet’s later depictions of birds were less controversial, although the artist always imbued his avian subjects with an intriguing suggestion of character and attitude. In its powerful depiction of two noble birds of prey, Busard et faucon pélerin reveals Buffet’s abiding fascination with the theme.
The canvas is not lined and examination under UV light reveals no signs of retouching. There are artist's pinholes to each corner. The texture is varied with some areas of lovely thick impasto. This work is in very good original condition.
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