24. February - 19. June 2016 Kunstforum Wien


Bank Austria Kunstforum in Vienna shows first Balthus exhibition in Austria

It is the first retrospective in Austria that is dedicated to Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908-2001) alias Balthus. The exhibition gives an overview over the complete works of Balthus, starting with his examination of the renaissance and works with surrealistic and new objective influences, up to his occupation with the art of East Asia.

Balthus was a solitary person. He knew numerous famous intellectuals of his time. Rainer Maria Rilke, second husband to his mother, was his earliest mentor, and artist geniuses like Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Salvador Dali and especially the art trader Pierre Matisse, son of the famous Henri Matisse, were amongst his friends. But still, Balthus did not join an artist group in his life time, but rather painted alone and by himself.

But Balthus is an ambivalent person in the European art history. In 2014, the museum Folkwang in Essen cancelled a planned exhibition because of pedophilia accusations. It was planned to show photographs of the then eight years old Anna, who is only scantily dressed in the pictures. The girl was one of Balthus’ models. Everybody can decide if the accusations were or are unfounded by themselves up till June 19th, 2016, because that is how long the exhibition can be seen in the show house at the Freyung.

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