Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mysterious Balthus Painting

Mysterious painter, mysterious painting! The above painting by Balthus called "Sleeping Nude" or "Nu Assoupi" 1980, 79" x 59", as seen in the book written by his son, Stanislas Klossowski de Rola (Abrams 1996), happens to be in a collection in a skyscraper lobby in NYC but no one is allowed to get close to it. Read Marshall Sponder's story about this painting on artNYC .

Anyone who has read about Balthus has come across this telegram which Balthus wrote to the art critic John Russell right before his Tate Gallery retrospective in London in 1968.
"No biographical details. Bathus is a painter of whom nothing is known. Now let us look at the pictures. Regards. B"

Bathus was reclusive and silent for years. In the years before his death, however, Balthus opened up to the press and we know a lot more about him. Biographys were written and art books were published.
It is some consolation that we get to see this painting reproduced in a book even if we cannot get close to it in real life. What a tease! It's one of my very favorites.

No comments: