Balthus was the older brother of Pierre Klossowski, but beside the style which is almost identical, their subject and approach to painting are too. Where Balthus uses voyeurism in many of his paintings, Pierre Klossowski is more outspoken in his approach to sexuality.
I have always thought they were the same artist until i discoverd an exhibition where the were presented next to eachother and explained that these were brothers,
Balthus (1908-2001) was a Polish-French artist who rejected the usual conventions of the art world and did not want to be associated with any of the art movements. His paintings often portray young girls in erotic and voyeuristic poses, but beside this his painting have a dreamlike composition. Figures are frozen in their action and the use of colors is warm and comforting.
He is viewed as one of the great masters of twentieth-century art, and is certainly one of the truly singular painters of his time. In his complex and multifaceted oeuvre, admired by some and spurned by others, he pursued an artistic approach that embodied an alternative, and a challenge, to modern avant-gardes. In his opposition to prevailing views, he refers to a whole range of art-historical traditions and precursors. Yet in his eccentric detachment from modernism, he developed his own specific avant-garde attitude, which now appears almost postmodern and contemporary.
These are paintings to savour, but are rarely encountered outside France. His paintings are spread all over the world, but if you ask me which public collection has them, thre is only one that comes to mind. It is the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Beyler collection in Riehen, so when you find a Balthus painting, to your tme with it and savour the moment.
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