Saturday, December 21, 2013
Culture: About Balthus And The Policy Of Museums
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has now a Balthus exhibition ("Balthus: Cats and Girls", through January 12, 2014 metmuseum). The artist provoked with his erotical portraits of underaged girls, often in the nude, but collected a lot of admirers, including writers and fellow painters like Pablo Picasso (wikipedia).
The show is underwhelming. The visitors get just a small segment of the artist`s oeuvre to see. Many of his paintings are lacking, including his 2 most important pictures: "The Street", which shows mysterious combination of actions (moma .tendreams) and "The Guitar Lesson", maybe his most provocative work (google). Instead the museums shows a collection of sketches Balthus has drawn in the age of 11.
Another disappointment is the ban of taking pictures which was strictly enforced by a cerberus who was supervising the tiny collection with sharp eyes and the comment: "If they want pictures they can buy them". This is ridiculous. On internet you can find much better images than my humble camera can deliver (for instance here tendreams.org or here google). Balthus had deserved better.