“Balthus Unfinished” sur le chantier de Plateforme 10

Lausanne’s Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts shines the light on Robert Wilson Balthus Unfinished at Plateforme 10

IMG_8883.jpgRobert Wilson Balthus Unfinished Room II, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, Exhibition Concept and Design: Robert Wilson – Co-Design: Christophe Martin, Photo © oneARTlover (2018)

I start any work the same way. I start a rehearsal with silence”.
– Robert Wilson

I always feel the desire to look for the extraordinary in ordinary things; to suggest, not to impose, to leave always a slight touch of mystery in my paintings”.
– Balthus

It’s an unusual event when an international art museum, not yet officially opened, in fact still very much under construction opts to move back the cordons and invite the public in. But its exactly what Lausanne’s Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts is doing at its future location at Plateforme 10. Until 9th September, the general public will have the chance to step inside and experience Robert Wilson’s Balthus Unfinished, an intimate, immersive installation of selected works in the basement of the new premises.

Wilson, one of America’s finest scenographers and a long-term admirer of Balthus set the wheels in motion for a collaboration after meeting the painter’s heirs during a visit to his studio at the Grand Chalet de Rossinière, Switzerland. Pigments, brushes, palettes, drawings, barely-touched canvases and incomplete works were all preserved exactly as they had been left when Balthus died in 2001. Now, for a short period, certain items, some only leaving his studio for the first time are on display.

It’s a bold gesture by the museum but also a symbolic one. When the first stone was laid at the new site back in 2016, objects belonging to Balthus and 78 other artists were interred into the foundations. This latest exhibition reinforces that spiritual connection with artists, past and present, and the mcb-a’s link with contemporary creativity.

Installed in darkened rooms, this concise exhibition is to be observed in silence, something that Wilson maintains when drawing his sketches for his projects. Accompanied by atmospheric music to set the mood, his signature use of lighting, precisely-angled and at just the right intensity brings unfinished compositions to elegant life. From the darkness, a barely-there female figure bathes in a sea of blue, outlined figures recline on paper and sketched geometric forms against colour-blocked backgrounds hint at the beginnings of masterpieces that would have been. Yet, far from regretting their incomplete state, these enigmatic works are all the more beguiling.

Under Wilson’s careful direction, the viewer’s eye is drawn to each artwork and the surrounding space. Rectangles of light, projected onto the floor create depth, as the works themselves become illuminated windows highlighting artistic traces while allowing light to flood out reflecting natural light and shadow through glass panes.

As Wilson briefly brings Balthus’ genius to life, so this extraordinary exhibition marks the next, nascent phase of the mcb-a. And the future looks very bright indeed.

For further information and tickets visit www.mcba.ch

IMG_8947.jpgRobert Wilson Balthus Unfinished Room III, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, Exhibition Concept and Design: Robert Wilson – Co-Design: Christophe Martin, Photo © oneARTlover (2018)

IMG_8872.jpgRobert Wilson Balthus Unfinished Room III, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, Exhibition Concept and Design: Robert Wilson – Co-Design: Christophe Martin, Photo © oneARTlover (2018)

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IMG_8841.jpgRobert Wilson Balthus Unfinished Room IV, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, Exhibition Concept and Design: Robert Wilson – Co-Design: Christophe Martin, Photo © oneARTlover (2018)

IMG_8868.jpgRobert Wilson Balthus Unfinished Room IV, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, Exhibition Concept and Design: Robert Wilson – Co-Design: Christophe Martin, Photo© oneARTlover (2018)

IMG_8870.jpgRobert Wilson Balthus Unfinished Room IV, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, Exhibition Concept and Design: Robert Wilson – Co-Design: Christophe Martin, Photo© oneARTlover (2018)

IMG_8830.jpgRobert Wilson Balthus Unfinished Room I, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, Exhibition Concept and Design: Robert Wilson – Co-Design: Christophe Martin, Photo © oneARTlover (2018)

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www.arteez.ch 2018