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Opening reception: Thursday, March 5, 6–8pm

Duino Elegies

March 5–April 11, 2020
980 Madison Avenue, New York

Cy Twombly, Duino, 1967 Oil-based house paint and wax crayon on canvas, 70 × 58 inches (177.8 × 147.3 cm)© Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Rob McKeever

Cy Twombly, Duino, 1967

Oil-based house paint and wax crayon on canvas, 70 × 58 inches (177.8 × 147.3 cm)
© Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Rob McKeever

Edmund de Waal, elegie, 2020 Kaolin, graphite, gold, oil stick, oak, and ash, in 2 parts, overall: 33 ⅛ × 46 ⅞ × 1 ¾ inches (84 × 119 × 4.5 cm)© Edmund de Waal. Photo: Mike Bruce

Edmund de Waal, elegie, 2020

Kaolin, graphite, gold, oil stick, oak, and ash, in 2 parts, overall: 33 ⅛ × 46 ⅞ × 1 ¾ inches (84 × 119 × 4.5 cm)
© Edmund de Waal. Photo: Mike Bruce

Medardo Rosso, Bambino Ebreo, c. 1920–25 Wax on plaster, 9 ⅜ × 7 ⅛ × 5 ¾ inches (23.7 × 17.9 × 14.4 cm)Photo: Rabatti & Domingie

Medardo Rosso, Bambino Ebreo, c. 1920–25

Wax on plaster, 9 ⅜ × 7 ⅛ × 5 ¾ inches (23.7 × 17.9 × 14.4 cm)
Photo: Rabatti & Domingie

About

For beauty is nothing but
the beginning of terror, that we are still able to bear,
and we revere it so, because it calmly disdains
to destroy us. 

—Rainer Maria Rilke

Gagosian is pleased to present Duino Elegies, a group exhibition that traces the resonance of Rainer Maria Rilke’s poetry through artworks spanning the past 150 years.

In 1912, Rilke was invited to stay at Duino Castle—a fortress just north of Trieste, Italy—by the Princess Marie von Thurn und Taxis. There, while standing atop a cliff overlooking the Adriatic Sea, he claimed to hear the following line: “Who, if I cried out, would hear me among the Angelic Orders?” Rilke eventually used these words to open the Duino Elegies, a 1923 collection of ten intensely religious metaphysical poems. Concerned with the interplay of suffering and beauty in human existence, the Elegies also project a hopeful vision of a more peaceful world.

Two decades earlier, Rilke had moved to Paris to write a monograph on Auguste Rodin, initiating a complex but lasting friendship between the two men. Rilke venerated the sculptor’s ability to translate poetic sentiments into figuration, as exemplified by Rodin’s large bronze La Muse tragique (1896). Originally conceived seven years prior for the Monument to Victor Hugo—in which the muse, perched above the French literary giant, whispers inspiration to him—La Muse tragique is presented here as a single figure, evoking a heightened pathos befitting its subject’s symbolic identity.

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980 Madison Avenue, New York

980 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10075

+1 212 744 2313
newyork@gagosian.com

Hours: Monday–Saturday 10–6

Press

Polskin Arts
Meagan Jones
meagan.jones@finnpartners.com
+1 212 593 6485

Julia Esposito
julia.esposito@finnpartners.com
+1 212 715 1643

Gagosian
pressny@gagosian.com
+1 212 744 2313