White paint is my marble.
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of Cy Twombly’s sculptures, in association with the Cy Twombly Foundation. The exhibition marks the publication of the second volume of the catalogue raisonné of sculptures, edited by Nicola Del Roscio, President of the Cy Twombly Foundation, and published by Schirmer/Mosel.
Twombly made his sculptures from found materials such as plaster, wood, and iron, as well as objects that he habitually used and handled in the studio. From 1946 onward, he created many assemblages, though they were rarely exhibited before the 1997 publication of the first volume of his catalogue raisonné. Often modest in scale, they embody his artistic language of handwritten glyphs and symbols, evoking narratives from antiquity and fragments of literature and poetry.
Many of Twombly’s sculptures are coated in white paint, which unifies and neutralizes the assembled materials and renders the newly formed object into a coherent whole. In referring to white paint as his “marble,” Twombly recalls traditions of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sculpture while also subverting marble’s classical connotation of perfection through his roughly painted surfaces. The intimate scale of these works, together with their textural coats of paint, underscores their fundamentally haptic nature.
Some of Twombly’s sculptures allude to architecture, geometry, and Egyptian and Mesopotamian statuary, as in the rectangular pedestals and circular structures of Untitled (1977) and Chariot of Triumph (1990–98). Untitled (In Memory of Álvaro de Campos) (2002) comprises a rounded wooden trough stacked with a rectangular box, an elongated mound, and a vertical wooden board—all accumulating into a form that resembles a headstone or cenotaph. Thickly daubed in white, the sculpture bears the titular inscription scrawled in the graffiti-like hand so typical of Twombly’s drawings and paintings, and below it, the words “to feel all things in all ways.” Drawn from a poem by Álvaro de Campos (one of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa’s pseudonyms), the inscription suggests the legibility of the sculpture itself, and positions the three-dimensional object as a surface to be worked on.
In 1979, Twombly began casting some of his assemblages in bronze. The first iteration of Untitled (2002), on view in this exhibition, was made in 1955, soon after his return to New York from Europe and North Africa. Like other works from this period, this sculpture makes reference to the ancient artifacts the artist encountered in his travels. Consisting of bundled sticks, it evokes an object of private devotion or fetish. By casting this work in bronze in 2002, Twombly literally and figuratively substantiated the small sculpture into something like an archeological treasure recovered from the past.
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany this exhibition.
To mark the completion of all volumes of the Twombly catalogue raisonné, Gagosian Davies Street, London, will host a store for the duration of the Grosvenor Hill exhibition, selling Twombly posters, prints, rare books, and the catalogue raisonné itself.
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2021
The Summer 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006) on its cover.
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.
Cy Twombly: Sculpture is available for online reading from November 1 through November 30 as part of the From the Library series. The book documents a 2019 exhibition at Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London, which brought together important and rarely shown sculptures by the artist. Twombly made his sculptures from found materials such as plaster, wood, and iron, as well as objects that he habitually used and handled in the studio. Often modest in scale, they embody his artistic language of handwritten glyphs and symbols, evoking narratives from antiquity and fragments of literature and poetry. The book includes a conversation between Nicola Del Roscio, president of the Cy Twombly Foundation; art historian and curator Sir Nicholas Serota; and Gagosian director Mark Francis.
Cy Twombly: Sculpture (London: Gagosian, 2019)
Wednesday, December 4, 2019, 6:15pm
Gagosian, Grosvenor Hill, London
Join Gagosian for a tour of Cy Twombly: Sculpture, currently on view at Grosvenor Hill, London. The exhibition, presented in association with the Cy Twombly Foundation, marks the publication of the second volume of the catalogue raisonné of Twombly’s sculptures edited by Nicola Del Roscio and published by Schirmer/Mosel. Gagosian’s Alice Godwin will lead the tour, providing an overview of the materials, processes, and influences behind the artist’s sculptural works. To attend the free event, RSVP to email@example.com. Space is limited.
Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2004 © Cy Twombly Foundation
Edmund de Waal and Christine Kondoleon on Cy Twombly
Friday, October 4, 2019, 3pm
Regent’s Park, London
As part of the Frieze Masters Talks program, Edmund de Waal will discuss the work of Cy Twombly with Christine Kondoleon of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. De Waal has a particular affinity for Twombly’s ability to create works that are simultaneously personal and mythological, allowing narrative, language, and inner visions to erupt from his intimate, abstract notations. To attend the free event, register at the Frieze Masters auditorium desk the day of the talk.
Photo: Ben McKee
Friday, October 4, 2019, 6:30–8:30pm
National Portrait Gallery, London
Cy Dear (2018), a film that traces the life and work of Cy Twombly, will be screened at the National Portrait Gallery as part of the museum’s Friday Lates program. The documentary pays homage to the artist’s prolific career, looking closely at his work around the world and the different creative periods within his oeuvre. To attend the event, purchase tickets at www.npg.org.uk.
Cy Twombly, Îles des Saintes, Guadeloupe, 1979. Photo © Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, courtesy Archives Nicola Del Roscio
In Beauty it is finished: Drawings 1951–2008
March 8–April 25, 2018
West 21st Street, New York