Balthus: A Retrospective

Balthus's work is provocative—it provokes questions: Why is this reactionary painter regarded by some as one of the greatest 20th century masters, right up there with Picasso, despite his stoic refusal to embrace anything modern? Are kitschy, explicit portraits of adolescent girls his biggest contribution to art? Does the painter's admiration for two polar opposites, Piero della Francesca and Gustave Courbet, tell us more about his art than anything ever written on the subject? Balthus: A Retrospective, an extensive exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, stirs up numerous questions regarding the legacy of this contradictory painter. Through June 22nd.

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