Modern and contemporary art were feted in Lille, where France was represented by illustrious figures from Survage to Riopelle, not to mention Bernard Buffet.
Bernard BUFFET (1928–1999), Les porcelaines jaunes (The Yellow Porcelains), 1988, oil on canvas, signed in the upper left-hand corner and dated in the upper right-hand corner, 130 x 81 cm.
In 1988, Bernard Buffet shifted his focus from clowns and minimalist bouquets to Asian ceramics for a change. In his powerfully composed painting Les porcelaines jaunes (The Yellow Porcelains, 130 x 81 cm), three enamelled pieces coated in the imperial colour stand out against a slanting fringed curtain. Acquired from the Maurice Garnier gallery (identification stamp on the back), it is comparable to a painting of the same year reproduced as No. 1034 in Yann Le Pichon’s Bernard Buffet catalogue. It fetched €212,500. Léopold Survage's 1953 Paysage cosmique (Cosmic Landscape, 65 x 81 cm), painted in casein on paper mounted on canvas, came in second at €38,750. Its colourful rhythm blends archetypal images with geometric shapes, enticing buyers once more. Jean-Paul Riopelle's 1968 abstract work Sans titre (Untitled, 27 x 22 cm) surpassed its maximum estimate at €35,000, a price undoubtedly influenced by the fact that it was shown in Pierre Matisse's New York gallery. Then, Lé Pho’s Mère et enfant (Mother and Child, 65 x 50 cm), a beautiful portrayal of motherhood that sold for €31,250, added a soft touch. Lastly, Jean Cocteau's emblematic profile of Orphée à la lyre (Orpheus Playing a Lyre, 64 x 49 cm) fetched €13,750.