Roberte et les Barres Parallèles Nº 8
Date 1984
Medium Coloured pencils on paper
Dimensions 195 x 130 cm
Inventory ID UID 102-309
The older brother of the painter Balthus, Klossowski was a writer, translator and draughtsman. He himself described his childhood as ‘ambulatory’, moving between France, Switzerland, Germany and Italy with his father, the painter Erich Klossowski de Rola, and his mother, Baladine Klossowska, a student of Bonnard and also a painter. Rechristened Merline, she was the object of Rainer Maria Rilke’s amorous passion in the early 1920s, and Rilke introduced the young Pierre Klossowski into artistic circles. In the mid-1930s, Pierre Klossowski was connected to Georges Bataille, Roger Caillois and André Masson; he took part in the activities of the College of Sociology and began exploring the work of the Marquis de Sade. In 1939 a period of religious questioning began, with a sojourn among the Benedictine monks and some theological studies. At the end of the war, Pierre Klossowski married Denise, who, under the name ‘Roberte’, would become the muse and the ‘sign’ under which he would place all of his work: La Vocation suspendue (The Suspended Vocation) in 1949, and later the Trilogie de Roberte (Trilogy of Roberte). Starting in 1970, Pierre Klossowski dedicated himself to drawing, as in the two works in the Berardo collection. The parallel bars theme was also the subject of a film, Roberte (1977), made by Pierre Zucca. In an attic, bound with parallel bars, the half-naked Roberte satisfies the sadistic desires of a man who has followed her on the street. ‘My drawings, like my texts, are of a dramaturgic order. Finally, for me, the most authentic vision of what I do is what I show, and not what I have read.’ J-FC