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If there are diverse kinds of knowledge and ways of knowing place, then we need to learn to value the different ways each of us sees a single place that is significant, but differently so, for each perspective.
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Balthus revisited « Previous | |Next »
October 29, 2007

The French painter Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski, 1908-2001) was an outsider during the modernist period. The pointed eroticism in his paintings young girls on the threshold of adulthood caused shock and consternation, just as Balthus had intended.

He worked in a self-consciously pre-modern style that rejected the twentieth century trend toward abstraction, though his work had definite elements of surrealism.He is one of the first anti-modernists as he painted the figure at a time when figurative art was largely ignored.

BalthusMontagne.jpg
Balthus, The Mountain, 1937

The Mountain, a quirky representation of young hikers in the Bernese Oberland, with is referenes to Courbet, Caspar David Friedrich and Poussin that it approaches pastiche. Poussin and Courbet in France and Piero della Francesca among the Italians were his reference points. Although his works were formally somewhat conservative, they raised controversy for their subject matter: the scenes often have an erotic, disturbing atmosphere and are often peopled with pensive adolescent girls.

Balthuspatience.jpg
Balthusa, Patience, 1943

Balthus works in the space defined by the essential difference between eroticism or sexuality and pornography and he finds a particular poignancy in the notion of very young people set apart in a world of their own.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:18 AM | | Comments (2)
Comments

Comments

He has some amazing paintings.

WOP,
yes. I've dipped in and out of Balthus's work.

 
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