Fondation Beyeler, Basel


The Polish-French painter Balthasar Klossowski de Rola (1908–2001), known as Balthus, is best known for his controversial paintings of prepubescent girls. In this survey, these works are displayed in the context of paintings from every phase of Balthus’s oeuvre, to explore the artist’s fusions of dream and reality, eroticism and innocence, and the familiar and uncanny.

The exhibition presents an artist detached from the main current of modernism, arguing that this approach manifested a challenge to the modernist avant-garde, prefiguring postmodernism through his recourse to a broad range of art-historical traditions, and through his complex use of irony and mystery. Find out more about the ‘Balthus’ exhibition from the Fondation Beyeler’s website.

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Thérèse, Balthus

Thérèse (1938), Balthus. Photo: The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Art Resource/Scala, Florence; © Balthus

Game of Cards

Game of Cards (1948–50), Balthus. Photo: Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza; © Balthus

Passage du Commerce Saint-André, Balthus

Passage du Commerce Saint-André (1952–54), Balthus. Photo: Mark Niedermann; © Balthus

Event website