A Rainy Farewell to Balthus

Even though we expected a crowd yesterday, an artist friend and I decided to see the Balthus Exhibition at The Met one more time before it closed.   I was again surprised by his precocious drawing series on the loss of his cat, Mitsou.Rain Fifth-Avenue,1.11.14

I had been stirred by its premature blossoming of a young artist’s gift, but yesterday my admiration developed to wonder.

Since I’ve spent that last several months looking at a reprint of the book, examining these drawings again in the gallery, the force, the conceptual (neurological, I really mean) power, the comprehension and manipulation of visual space is so advanced, I started to wonder if some other artist had created them.

How does a kid have that ability at that age?

The visual sophistication of those drawings is singular.  On my way home in a cab last night  I started to wonder if Balthus had any childhood in the sense of a visual  innocence.



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