Extended through January 18, 2014
From time to time, amidst all the trials and errors, it happens: I recognize what I was looking for. All of a sudden the vision that pre-existed incarnates itself, more or less intuitively and more or less precisely. The dream and the reality are superimposed and made one.
Gagosian is delighted to present a special exhibition Balthus: The Last Studies. This is the gallery’s first exhibition with the Estate of Balthus to announce the representation and it has been prepared in close association with the artist’s family. The exhibition inaugurates Gagosian’s new ground-floor gallery at 976 Madison Avenue.
Balthus: The Last Studies presents for the very first time selections from an extensive but little-known body of preparatory photographic work by the painter, giving fresh insight into the working processes that he adopted late in life. This intimate exhibition also brings to light key continuities and correspondences between images throughout Balthus’s oeuvre, providing a resonant counterpoint to Balthus: Cats and Girls: Paintings and Provocations, the thematic survey of early paintings at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York that opens to the public on September 25.
Balthus is commonly known as the reclusive painter of charged and disquieting narrative scenes, whose inspirative sources and embrace of exquisitely rigorous technique reach back to the early Renaissance, though with a subversive modern twist. In the last decade of his life, when physical frailty made it all but impossible for him to draw, he discovered the Polaroid camera—a surprising turn for one who had remained so defiantly aloof from many of the radical innovations of his own time. With it he began making extensive instant preparatory “sketches” for his paintings, which were often many years in the making.
Between Shadow and Light
Scholar and researcher Yves Guignard, who is working on Balthus’s archives for a revision of the Balthus catalogue raisonné, examines the artist’s engagement with drawing, arguing for a more concerted attention to these works than scholarship has paid them.
The Grand Chalet: An interview with Setsuko
On the twentieth anniversary of Balthus’s death, Setsuko gives an intimate tour of the Grand Chalet and reflects on how the 1754 Swiss mountain home enriched their lives as artists.