Installation Views

Works Exhibited


Gagosian is pleased to announce Cy Gavin: New Paintings, the artist’s debut solo exhibition in Italy, on view in Rome from November 30, 2023, through January 23, 2024.

Made in Rome and New York from April through October of this year, these paintings visualize forces of growth, decay, and resilience. Rather than depict conventional landscapes or cityscapes, they instead convey the experience of being in and of nature, addressing microcosmic and macrocosmic phenomena from waterborne algae to the movements of celestial bodies.

Highlights of the exhibition include Untitled (Wall of the Tiber) (all works 2023), a monumental painting of a cyclopean stone wall in Rome. The regularity of the structure’s black blocks is interrupted by the varied forms of flowering plants that sprout from cracks and blossom across its surface. Untitled (Pollarded white mulberry tree), another painting that contrasts the built environment with the vitality of the natural world, represents a street tree in blues and pinks, its branches cut back to shape its growth and its roots constrained by a rectangular cutout in the sidewalk. Untitled (Roadside with chicory and wild carrot) juxtaposes a profusion of vigorous roadside weeds in white, yellow, orange, and green with the monotone of the blacktop road in its lower register. And Untitled (Converging paths), painted with calligraphic gestures in an allover composition, pictures a crossroads shaped by human passage amid an abundance of plant life.

Untitled (Blue-green algae), a painting dominated by deep greens, describes both the reflections of trees and other vegetation on a pond’s surface, and the saturated tones of algae that grow in bodies of warm, slow-moving water. Although they occur naturally, algal blooms can be toxic and overwhelm their ecosystem, exacerbated by fertilizer runoff and rising temperatures linked to climate change—making this a work concerned with both perceptual and ecological issues. Untitled (Human heart) represents the chambers and valves of a disembodied heart, extending the artist’s subjects to human anatomy, and themes of life and death. Finally, Gavin’s attention shifts outward toward interstellar space in Untitled (Binary stars), an interpretation of the cosmic ballet of two stars that are gravitationally bound to one another’s orbits.