Almost quite disturbing—Balthus’s cats and girls

05 November 2013 / , ,

Balthus certainly had his fascinations, controversial ones at that, but his fascinations also produced fascinating results. Provoking the viewer with subtle yet powerful positioning of his subjects to create a natural tension that both repels you and drives you toward it. And the subject of his fascination? Adolescent girls, in the midst of puberty sexualized and mystified by positioning them in a way that is seemingly relaxed and at times awkward. Giving them an air of understanding and maturity in their expression far beyond their years, but completely by accident. And the icing on the cake? Cats, almost as if they were placed in the composition by accident, most works are littered (pun intended) with this feline fascination. So whether it’s girls or cats Balthus: Cats and Girls at the Metropolitan has plenty, offering an intriguing view into one man’s obsession with adolescence (and cats). Check out this amazing exhibition now through January 12, and learn more about the exhibition here.

Balthus, Patience, 1955.
Balthus, Thérèse dreaming, 1938.
Balthus, The Golden Years, 1945.
Balthus, Drawing Room, 1943.
Balthus, Thérèse, 1938.
Balthus, Girl and Cat, 1937.
Balthus, Nude with Cat, 1949.
Balthus, The King of Cats, 1935.
Balthus, The Mediterranean Cat, 1949.
Balthus, The Room, 1953.
Hisaji Hara, photographic rendition of Balthus.