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Cy Twombly

Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things

November 8–December 22, 2007
West 21st Street, New York

Cy Twombly: Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly: Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly: Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly: Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly: Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly: Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly: Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly: Blooming: A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things

Installation view, photo by Rob McKeever

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Works Exhibited

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2007 Acrylic, wax crayon, pencil on wood, 99 3/16 × 217 5/16 inches (252 × 552cm)

Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2007

Acrylic, wax crayon, pencil on wood, 99 3/16 × 217 5/16 inches (252 × 552cm)

About

AH! The Peonies
For which
Kusunoki
Took off his
Armour
—Takarai Kikaku

Gagosian is proud to present an exhibition of recent paintings by Cy Twombly. A Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things was first shown at the Collection Lambert in Avignon, France, earlier this year.

Twombly conceived these vast and exuberant panel paintings with the decor and balanced order of the typical eighteenth-century hôtel particulier in mind. The paintings in this most recent group are in a large horizontal format, each comprising six wooden panels. Across their broad surfaces, ideogrammatic blossoms of vivid crayon and viscous pigment and haikus penciled in the artist’s tremulous scrawl combine and contrast with drips and efflorescent flows of startling, sometimes offbeat mannerist color—burgundy, damask yellow, vermilion, rose, and mint green. Each of these so-called “peony” paintings is a daring invention, combining influences as diverse as French Enlightenment art, furnishings, and architecture; Japonisme; and the élan vital of Twombly’s own original Abstract Expressionism.

Twombly’s previous Bacchus series (2005) seethed with the visceral energies of war. In A Scattering of Blossoms… war cedes to flowers, for which the hero of the famous haiku disarms himself. Peonies are the favored flowers of Japanese aesthetic contemplation, appearing frequently in illustrations, folding screens, and haikus of the Edo period. Once in bloom, they offer a rush of color and texture. Here, their fragile headiness is captured and memorialized in both image and inscription. By adding his own recollections of haikus by the famous seventeenth-century Japanese masters Bashō and Kikaku, Twombly points to the human implications that these full-blown, elegaic paintings hold for an artist in the later stages of his life and career.

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