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NEWS

Hans Ulrich Obrist Calls for WPA-Style Arts Program to Help Economy

March 30th, 2020

Hans Ulrich Obrist has called for a massive public arts program to help jumpstart the arts economy again after the impact of coronavirus, likening the idea to the Great Depression’s WPA.  “With the WPA, they went out into the community: artists got salaries and were able to research and create work during the New Deal era. It gave many people their first real jobs and commissions,” he says.
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David Zwirner Invites Smaller Galleries to Show in Digital Exhibition Rooms

March 30th, 2020

David Zwirner is welcoming a group of 12 small galleries to exhibit in his gallery’s digital viewing rooms, NYT reports. “We are grateful for any and all acts of solidarity in these incredibly difficulty times,” says Oliver Newton of 47 Canal, one of the galleries invited.
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UCLA Hammer Lays Off Part-Time Students

March 26th, 2020

The UCLA Hammer Museum has laid off 150 part-time student employees, in what looks like the first major art world layoffs caused by coronavirus. “We hope that many of our part-time students will return to the Hammer later this summer,” a museum representative said.
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REFERENCE LIBRARY

Balthus

Balthus via Wikipedia

born February 29, 1908 in Paris
died February 18, 2001 in Rossiniere, Switzerland

Balthasar Kłossowski de Rola, known as Balthus, was a prominent artist of the 20th century, most recognized for his paintings of young girls in voyeuristic or erotic contexts. His work is said to have influenced contemporary artists like John Currin.

Nude With Cat, Balthus,1949 via NationalgalleryofVictoria

His parents were part of the Paris cultural elite which led to his being influenced by such figures as poet Rainer Maria Rilke and Henri Matisse from an early age. In 1921, at the age of thirteen, Balthus published a book of drawings called “Mitsou”, with a preface by Rilke. It was a story of a boy and his cat – Balthus would remain obsessed with the animal for the rest of his life. In the 1930s, Balthus was a well-regarded painter belonging to a circle of influential artists, novelists, and intellectual figures – including Man Ray, Alberto Giacometti, Albert Camus, Joan Miro, and Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

The Mountain, Balthus, 1937 via Junkforcode

Balthus preferred to work with realistically rendered nude figures – he rejected the imaginary world, at a time when it was not fashionable to do so. He worked on paintings for immensely long periods of time, with great precision.

Balthus via Mirrorsandwindows

Throughout the 1950s and 60s, he gained international fame, while also remaining an enigma. His work was displayed in the Pierre Matisse gallery, The Museum of Modern Art, and he was the first living artist to be shown in the Louvre, who had acquired his piece from Pablo Picasso’s collection. Picasso had been a fan of Balthus since his early work.

Balthus exhibition, 2001, via Donatawenders

Upon his death, many more fans would attend his funeral, including U2, the president of France, supermodel Elle McPherson, and others.

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