Cy Twombly

Ten Sculptures

November 5–December 20, 1997
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1997 Bronze, 34 ¼ × 29 × 13 ⅜ inches (87 × 73.7 × 34 cm), edition of 3

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1997

Bronze, 34 ¼ × 29 × 13 ⅜ inches (87 × 73.7 × 34 cm), edition of 3


Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of Cy Twombly’s Ten Sculptures. This will be the first exhibition held in the United States entirely devoted to this important but relatively less-known aspect of Twombly’s oeuvre.

Cy Twombly, one of the most prominent artists of our time, although primarily known for his paintings and drawings, has been engaged with sculpture since the earliest days of his career. Since then he has produced close to 120 original pieces. His sculptures usually consist of two parts: found objects and clay or plaster. They are all painted white so as to reinforce their unity. Over the last ten or so years, a small selection of the sculptures has been cast in bronze. Twombly explains, “Bronze unifies the thing. It abstracts the forms from the material. People want to know about what the material constituents are; it helps them identify the work with something. But I want each sculpture to be seen as a whole, as a sculpture.”

The ten sculptures in this exhibition are all bronzes, finished in a chalky-white patina reminiscent of the original white paint. They are pale, delicate, and, in the words of David Sylvester, “quite literally often like objects from archaeological sites, in form and in character. They carry the scars of growth and decay, of wear and tear; they have the look of fragile things that have come through. And they have the look too of the residue not of an individual life but of a culture. . . . The sculptures have the scent of antiquity—often of Asian antiquity—in ways that the paintings can’t.”

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by David Sylvester entitled “The World Is Light.”

On the same occasion, the first volume of the newly published catalogue raisonné of Twombly’s sculptures will be launched. Cy Twombly, Catalogue Raisonné of Sculpture, Volume 1: 1946–1997, edited by Nicola Del Roscio with an essay by Arthur Danto, will be published by Planco and Schirmer/Mosel.