Balthus — Austria Kunstforum Wien

In spring 2016, for the first time in Austria, the Kunstforum in Vienna is showing a retrospective on the work of Balthasar Klossowski de Rolas, known as "Balthus." Born in 1908 in Paris as the son of Polish-Russian parents, Balthus spent his childhood between Paris, Bern, Berlin, and Geneva. Starting from the masters of the Italian Quattrocento, his painting, which would always remain bound to objectivity, developed via confrontation with Surrealism and New Objectivity. In this project, Balthus will be understood on the basis of his most important themes: street and city in contrast to pastoral nature; the classical portrait; the female nude, predominantly exercised on adolescent young girls. One chapter is devoted to Balthus's designs for the theater; at the center of the chapter stands the stage décor created in 1950 for Mozart's Cosí fan tutte for the Festival in Aix en Provence.Within his consistently structured painting, which permits no expressive elements at all, the task is to explore the mysterious, archaic, and also eerie aura of Balthus's images, to investigate pictorial worlds which, in their designs, evoke the imagination of our childhood – and also do not lack a certain cruelty.

24 x 29,5 cm
248 pages
ISBN 978-3-86828-696-02016
Editor: Evelyn Benesch, Cécile Debray
Texts: Evelyn Benesch, Cécile Debray, Andreas Beyer, Jean Clair, Valérie Loth, Didier Ottinger, Didier Semin, Alfred Springer, Camille Viéville
Published by Kehrer