There is a sense of immutable, eternal life. And in these new works there is a sense about Cy’s own continuum—the ongoing quality of his great legacy and his art—it’s not a memorialization, it’s a living thing.
Gagosian is pleased to present Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington, an exhibition by photographer Sally Mann. This is her first exhibition in Rome.
Mann is known and regarded for her images of intimate and familiar subjects—children, landscape, family, and the nature of mortality—rendered both sublime and disquieting. In previous projects, she explored relationships between parent and child, husband and wife, brother and sister, nature and history.
In her latest exhibition of color and black-and-white photographs, taken between 1999 and 2012, she records in fleeting impressions the Lexington, Virginia, studio of the late Cy Twombly, her close friend and mentor. Following presentations at Gagosian New York and Paris, this exhibition has special resonance in Italy, Twombly’s adopted and imaginative home for several decades.
Twombly and Mann were both born and raised in Virginia. The landscape to which he returned each year is also the memoryscape of Mann’s connection to him. In her recent and celebrated memoir Hold Still, she recalls his elemental nature, his Southern courtesy, his wry and gentle humor. Rememebering their friendship, she writes, “Our part of the South, remote, beautiful, and patinaed with the past, allows us such a remove, the distance of another time.”
Under Mann’s gaze, and the suffused light of Virginia, the accumulations and ordinary objects in Twombly’s studio reveal themselves not only as evidence of a richly imaginative and cultivated life lived and marked by tactility, but also as the overflow of his general modus operandi—in Simon Schama’s words, “the leftovers, smears, and stains, and an absence turned into a presence.” Remembered Light, Untitled (Solitary Print on Wall) (2012) shows a wall of the Virginia studio, and, stapled to it, a photograph taken by Twombly in Gaeta. In Twombly’s image, as captured by Mann, there is a just discernible view of a classical bust arranged with several vases; silhouetted by the coastal light, these shapes exude a quiet sense of nostalgia. And with Remembered Light, Untitled (Squat White Sculpture and Paint Edges) (2012), Mann indicates the tactile processes leading to the creation of one of his sculptures. Even without the artist’s actual presence, she is able to vividly evoke the traces of his daily life and work.
Mann’s poetic images of time recorded capture fragments and deposits of Twombly’s artistic life. As well, they speak to her deft ability to record interiority and to her singular eye for the immediate, the intimate, and the present becoming memory.
A fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Simon Schama, and a conversation between Sally Mann and Edmund de Waal, published by Abrams, accompanies the exhibition.
C’è una sensazione di immutabilità, di vita eterna. In questi nuovi lavori si percepisce un legame di continuità con Cy e con la grandezza della sua eredità e della sua arte. Non è una commemorazione, è qualcosa di vivo.
Gagosian è lieta di presentare Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington, la prima mostra a Roma di Sally Mann.
Mann è particolarmente nota ed apprezzata per la sua rappresentazione fotografica di soggetti intimi e familiari in situazioni idilliache e sottilmente inquietanti: bambini, paesaggi, famiglie, e la fragilità della vita umana. Nella sua lunga carriera l’artista ha esplorato la relazione tra genitori e figli, mariti e mogli, fratelli e sorelle, natura e storia.
In queste fotografie a colori e in bianco e nero, scattate tra il 1999 e il 2012, Mann registra in fuggevoli immagini lo studio di Lexington, Virginia, appartenuto a Cy Twombly, suo caro amico e mentore. Il progetto, presentato di recente nelle gallerie Gagosian di New York e Parigi, assume una particolare risonanza in Italia, casa adottiva e affettiva del pittore per diversi decenni.
Quei panorami dove Twombly tornava ogni anno e che impregnano anche l’immaginario di Mann, accomunano i due artisti entrambi nati e cresciuti in Virginia.
Nella sua recente e acclamata biografia Hold Still, Mann ricorda la natura semplice di Cy, la sua gentilezza tipica del Sud, il suo spirito ironico e amichevole, scrivendo: “La nostra parte di Sud, lontana, bellissima e patinata di passato, ci permette uno straniamento di altri tempi”.
Sotto la luce soffusa della Virginia e lo sguardo di Mann, le accumulazioni e gli oggetti comuni nello studio di Twombly rivelano sè stessi non solo come testimonianza di un’esistenza colta e creativa, permeata da una forte esperienza tattile, ma anche come segno dell’esuberanza del suo modus operandi: nelle parole di Simon Schama “resti di cibo, sbaffi, macchie e un’assenza tramutata in presenza”.
L’opera Remembered Light, Untitled (Solitary Print on Wall) (2012) mostra una fotografia scattata da Twombly a Gaeta appesa alla parete dello studio. Nell’immagine di Twombly si scorge distintamente un busto classico disposto accanto ad alcuni vasi: plasmate dalla luce del litorale, queste forme emanano una quieta nostalgia. Remembered Light, Untitled (Squat White Sculpture and Paint Edges) (2012), rivela la componente materica delle sculture di Twombly. Nonostante l’assenza fisica dell’artista, Mann è in grado di evocare vividamente le tracce della quotidianità del suo lavoro.
Nelle immagini poetiche di Mann, frammenti e residui della vita artistica di Twombly evidenziano l’acuta abilità della fotografa nel registrare il proprio sguardo intimo e immediato su un presente che diventa memoria.
Correda il progetto un catalogo illustrato pubblicato da Abrams con un saggio di Simon Schama e una conversazione tra Sally Mann e Edmund de Waal.
Sally Mann: Remembered Light
Edmund de Waal and Sally Mann discuss Cy Twombly’s relationship to photography, Mann’s pervasive interest in the American South, and the context behind her newest body of work.
Sally Mann: Vinculum
Join Sally Mann at her studio in Lexington, Virginia. Filmed at work in her darkroom and within the surrounding landscape, she discusses her exploratory approach to making and printing pictures, what draws her to the landscape of the American South, and her newest body of work, Vinculum.
Edmund de Waal and Sally Mann
Sally Mann joins Edmund de Waal onstage at the Frick Collection in New York to converse about art, writing, and the importance of place in their respective bodies of work.
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.
Gagosian Quarterly Spring 2019
The Spring 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Red Pot with Lute Player #2 by Jonas Wood on its cover.
Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings
Drew Gilpin Faust discusses Sally Mann’s landscape photographs of Antietam, a site that more than a century ago bore witness to one of the bloodiest battles in the American Civil War.
November 17–23, 2021
Sally Mann is known for her photographs of intimate and familiar subjects rendered both sublime and disquieting. Her projects explore the complexities of familial relationships, social realities, and the passage of time, capturing tensions between nature, history, and memory. Central to Mann’s investigation are the landscapes that she has photographed both near her home in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and across the South for over three decades. Often using a view camera, Mann draws on the history of both her medium and the Southern landscape to produce photographs that are expressive and elegiac.
Photo: © Annie Leibovitz
Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington
November 2, 2017–January 20, 2018
Merlin Street, Athens
Extended through April 29, 2017
Remembered Light: Cy Twombly in Lexington
January 25–April 29, 2017
rue de Ponthieu, Paris