Degrees of failure, Balthus at the Met
Cats and Girls, is the focus of the Metropolitan Museums of what many might think of as the problem of Balthus. His focus on budding young girls has always been problematic but Roberta Smith's review of the show brings the larger problem of Balthus to the fore, sometimes he's just not that good.
...a rather strange, even refreshing exercise. It does not march toward the inevitable triumph like most tributes to leading modern artists. It proceeds in fits and starts; many of the paintings are interesting in one way or another but not especially original or even very convincing as totalities. The show is, in some ways, a study in kinds and degrees of failure. moreJames Kalm has a video walk through of the exhibition here and I'll post a couple of drawings tomorrow.
Balthus, The King of Cats , 1935 , Oil on canvas , 30 11/16 x 16 5/16 in.
Fondation Balthus, Switzerland © Balthus
Balthus, Thérèse, 1938
Oil on cardboard mounted on wood, 39 ½ x 32 in.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Mr. and Mrs. Allan D. Emil, in honor of William S. Lieberman, 1987
Balthus, Thérèse Dreaming, 1938
Oil on canvas, 59 x 51 in.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998, © Balthus