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.
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.