Marc Jancou Contemporary is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Michael Cline and Max Maslansky in Rossinière, Switzerland, as part of OFFSITE: CHALET. This exhibition will bring together 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 the Swiss village of Rossinière where Balthus spent the last years of his life. With the proximity of Balthus Foundation, this exhibition will provide the opportunity to reflect on the contemporary artists' 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. Marc Jancou Contemporary has organized numerous solo and group exhibitions featuring works by Michael Cline including Arcadia (2011); Summer Group Show (2011); Fifth Column (2009); and Bless This Mess (2006). Michael Cline also curated the exhibition Private Future at the gallery in 2011. The artist’s first monograph was published in 2010 by JRP Ringier in partnership with Marc Jancou Contemporary.
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.”
Born in 1976, Max Maslansky lives and works in Los Angeles. He bases his artwork on vintage pornographic imagery, often making paintings on used bed sheets and found magazine pages. His work has been exhibited at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Five Car Garage, Los Angeles; Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York; Dutton, New York; and Galerie Sébastien Bertrand, Geneva, Switzerland.
As Max Maslansky says, “Balthus was one of the most forthright peddlers of forbidden libidinal energy in modern art. My paintings retain that spirit, while mimicking Balthus's aptitude for the supple, feline, and lay-about 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.”