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Marc Jancou presents works by two contemporary artists inspired by Balthus
Michael Cline, Untitled, 2019. Oil on linen, 40.6 x 50.8 cm. 16 x 20 in.

ROSSINIERE.- Marc Jancou Contemporary presents an exhibition of works by Michael Cline and Max Maslansky in Rossinière, Switzerland as part of Offsite: Chalet. This exhibition brings together works by two contemporary artists inspired by Balthasar Kłossowski de Rola (1908-2001), known as Balthus, who is viewed as one of the greatest masters of the twentieth-century art. It is the first of the series of exhibitions inspired by Balthus organized by Marc Jancou Contemporary in Rossiniere.

Michael Cline explains how Balthus has inspired him: “I began with Balthus on my mind. As is my way, I opted for a plain face, no beauty, nor grotesque, an average person. I began with an ambiguous situation, a partially clothed figure in an interior setting. The figure nagged at me in this vulnerable state, and so I began to dress them, and wrap them, and pile things upon them. Then their interiors were turned inside out, walls pulled down, a roof yanked away, leaving only weather worn, graffiti covered structures. The figures became vulnerable again, no room was their own, they hoarded, and made cryptic signs. I began with a lyrical Balthus-ian world but ended with an anxious adjacent world, twisted inside out.”

To Max Maslansky, “Balthus was one of the most forthright peddlers of forbidden libidinal energy in modern art.” As Max Maslansky says: “My paintings retain that spirit, while mimicking Balthus' aptitude for the supple, feline, and layabout energy of the female figure. Instead of inventing figures as Balthus did, mine are appropriated from pornographic imagery, thus updating that spirit conceptually and perhaps laying it more bare, for better or worse, since there is an open 'market' for it online now. In my green two-figure painting on a bedpad, the one on the right was taken directly from a Balthus painting, while the left figure from a pornography still. That painting is perhaps all these ideas distilled the most succinctly.”

Marc Jancou is presenting the works of Michael Cline and Max Maslansky in the intimate location of a chalet in the alpine village of Rossinière, where Balthus spent his last years, in the Grand Chalet. With the proximity of Balthus Foundation, this exhibition provides the opportunity to reflect on the contemporary artist’s responses to his art.

Born in 1973 in Florida, Michael Cline lives and works in New York. He received his MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and his BA from the University of North Florida.

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