“Painting is a language of its own. It is the one I use, and it cannot be translated,” said Balthus, whose full name was Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908-2001), and who was one of the last Great Masters of twentieth-century art and among the most controversial modern artists.
With this focus, the exhibition brings together around fifty important pictures from every phase of Balthus' oeuvre, looking also at the strategies employed in the staging of his often provocative images, and illuminating the elements of irony and mystery in his work. His pictures combine tranquility with extreme tension, and embody a wealth of contradictions, mingling dream and reality, eroticism and innocence, the factual and the unfathomable, the familiar and the uncanny, in a wholly unique way." the world-famous foundation says about the artist. GoSee : fondationbeyeler.ch
About - Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (29 February, 1908 – 18 February, 2001), known as Balthus, was a Polish-French modern artist known for his erotically charged images of pubescent girls but also for the refined, dreamlike quality of his imagery. Throughout his career, Balthus rejected the usual conventions of the art world and insisted that his paintings should be seen and not read about, while resisting any attempts made to build a biographical profile. A telegram sent to the Tate Gallery as it prepared for its 1968 retrospective of his works read:
"NO BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS. BEGIN: BALTHUS IS A PAINTER OF WHOM NOTHING IS KNOWN. NOW LET US LOOK AT THE PICTURES. REGARDS B."
So here is just one biographical story for you on GoSee : In 1917, his parents separated, and his mother moved with the two boys to Geneva. They lived in a modest flat at 11 rue Pré-Jérôme, a comfortable neighborhood. About a year later, his mother became the lover of Rilke. Balthus undoubtedly experienced this replacement of his father as a fairly traumatic event, especially given the romantic ecstasies and agonies of his mother's relationship with Rilke, which probably made him feel jealous and abandoned. However, Rilke was very impressed with young Baltus' artistic talent and helped him to publish his first work in 1921 at the age of 13 in a book titled Mitsou which included forty drawings by Balthus and a preface by Rilke. The comic-book-style pictures depicted the story of a young boy who loses his beloved cat. The themes of the story foreshadowed Balthus' lifelong fascination with cats, along with a feeling of loss or disappearance. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balthus