By Guy Davenport
Airborne dirt and dust jacket notes: "The portray of Balthus, enigmatic, poetic, and debatable, is either deeply conventional and considerably glossy. In tracing a few of its kinship with the poetry of Rilke (Balthus's youth mentor), with Picasso and others, man Davenport makes an attempt during this set of meditations written over a number of years in his notebooks to put Balthus because the smooth grasp in whose fingers the nice culture of Western work now mostly lies. those terse notes recommend readings of numerous of the main work, hint issues and routine photos, and pose speculative rules in regards to the which means and nature of Balthus. those notes aren't an orderly argument via an artwork critic yet a development of responses, roughly target, through a author who sees Balthus as a good poet in addition to an excellent painter."
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Extra resources for A Balthus Notebook
La vista, el tacto" ("Sight, Touch") meditates on the tactile abilities of eyesight, on light's sculpting matter, so that we see it according to the strategies of light on objects. In modern painting we have two traditions of light. One analyzes light as a vibrant rain. From Pissarro and Cezanne to Seurat and Signac we see the physics of color, the dance and ricochet of the photon, a granulation into discrete particles. The other tradition ranges from the blind fingers of Picasso to Balthus's treatment of light as a transparent solid in which matter is submerged.
New York: Harper & Row, 1983. Levi-Strauss, Claude, The Elementary Structures of Kinship, tr. James Harle Bell, John Richard Sturmer, and Rodney Needham. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969. , The View from Afar, tr. Joachim Neugroschel and Phoebe Hoss. New York: Basic Books, 1985. Leymarie, Jean, Balthus. Geneva: Skira, 1979. , and Federico Fellini, Balthus. Venice: Edizioni La Biennale, 1980. Lifton, Betty Jean, The King of Children: A Biography of Janusc Korczak. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Livingstone, Marco, R.
Priapus is a homely and earthy god. Look at the goblin in Fuseli's Nightmare. BALTHUS WORKS in an imaginary space between interior and exterior worlds. What we see in his paintings is not what a photograph would record: certain cats and human figures would be missing. The man laying the fire in n e Golden Days may well exist only in the imagination of the girl studying her face in a mirror. In n e Room we can plausibly read the painting as having one figure only. The stunted woman may be imagining the luxuriating girl.
A Balthus Notebook by Guy Davenport