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Balthasar Klossowski : Balthus - 100th anniversary
Balthasar Klossowski
Balthus - 100th anniversary
Z.B., September 22, 2008
Jeune Balthus, 1922
Jeune Balthus, 1922
 
I lived there (Switzerland) so long that I managed to believe that I was Swiss. I discovered this country during the First World War. I would have so much to say about it … Switzerland played an important part in my youth and, since then, I keep going back, almost as if by chance… (Balthus)

Balthasar Klossowski - Balthus
Balthasar Klossowski - Balthus
 
“The best way of starting is to say that Balthus is a painter about whom we know nothing. And now, let us look at his paintings.” Such is the answer that exactly forty years ago Balthus gave the Tate Gallery, which organised a retrospective and wanted an introductory text. The next exhibition to be held at the Fondation Pierre Gianadda in Martigny will be the 100th Anni-versary of Balthus, organised by Jean Clair and Dominique Radrizzani, which will concentrate on Balthus’s masterpieces in Martigny. This event will mark several anniversaries – firstly the painter’s centenary as such, then also the twenty-fifth anniversary of his rediscovery at the great retrospective at the Georges Pompidou National Culture and Art Centre in 1983, as well as the thirtieth anniversary of the inauguration of the Fondation Pierre Gianadda on 19 November 1978.  It is not the first time that Balthus has gone Valaisan. It is even in the Valais that everything began, close to Sierre where, each year, the poet Rainer Maria Rilke invited the mother and children to come and holiday at his castle in Muzot. Rilke was to preface the volume, Mitsou, by the very young Bal-thus (drawn at 11 years of age, published at 13) and the first known picture - Paysage de Muzot, painted in 1922 at the age of 15 years, also testifies to a “childhood Valais”.

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