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.
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of new bronze sculptures by Cy Twombly, coinciding with the inauguration of Gagosian’s Athens gallery with Leaving Paphos Ringed with Waves, an exhibition of the artist’s new paintings. Two major museum exhibitions—Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000–2007, which inaugurated the new wing of the Art Institute of Chicago, and Cy Twombly: Sensations of the Moment at Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna—are on view through October 2009.
Since 1946 Twombly has fashioned sculptures from everyday materials and objects, usually painted with white gesso. In 1979 he began casting some of them in bronze, thus unifying, preserving, and transforming them into cohesive wholes independent from the original bricolages. The surfaces and patinas of these cast bronzes evoke weathered artifacts that have been exhumed from the earth, an effect that is heightened in those that have been coated in white oil paint.
Some of these sculptures contain allusions to the static, closed forms of Egyptian and Mesopotamian sculpture, as well as to other architectural and geometric references such as the repetition of rectangular pedestals and circular structures. Others refer to historical representations, such as Untitled (The Mathematical Dream of Ashurbanipal) (2000–09), which alludes to the scholarly Assyrian king whose military prowess was the subject of a rival king’s dream in which his eventual submission to Assyria was predicted. While the components of these sculptures have been partially merged and abstracted by the casting process, in works such as Untitled (2004–09) a progression of precariously balanced objects—in this case, a broom inside a funnel that rests on a cylindrical pedestal—is clearly demarcated. Twombly’s continued play between fragility and obduracy, figuration and abstraction, ancient and modern imbues each work with its characteristic tension.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Kate Nesin.
Twombly and the Poets
Anne Boyer, the inaugural winner of the Cy Twombly Award in Poetry, composes a poem in response to Twombly’s Aristaeus Mourning the Loss of His Bees (1973) and introduces a portfolio of the painter’s works accompanied by the poems that inspired them.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2021
The Spring 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Gerhard Richter’s Helen (1963) on its cover.
Rainer Maria Rilke: Duino Elegies
Bobbie Sheng explores the symbiotic relationship between the poet and visual artists of his time and tracks the enduring influence of his poetry on artists working today.
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2020
The Summer 2020 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Joan Jonas’s Mirror Piece 1 (1969) on its cover.
The River Café Cookbook
London’s River Café, a culinary mecca perched on a bend in the River Thames, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2018. To celebrate this milestone and the publication of her cookbook River Café London, cofounder Ruth Rogers sat down with Derek Blasberg to discuss the famed restaurant’s allure.
Sally Mann and Jenny Saville
The two artists discuss being drawn to difficult subjects, the effects of motherhood on their practice, embracing chance, and their shared adoration of Cy Twombly.
In Beauty it is finished: Drawings 1951–2008
March 8–April 25, 2018
West 21st Street, New York