Gagosian is pleased to announce an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Cy Twombly, organized in association with the Cy Twombly Foundation. Opening on January 20 across two floors of the gallery at 980 Madison Avenue, the exhibition gathers art produced in the final decade of Twombly’s life.
Gagosian’s exhibition in New York coincides with Making Past Present: Cy Twombly, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from January 14 to May 7, 2023. Juxtaposing works by Twombly with ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Near Eastern artifacts from the museum, along with objects from the artist’s personal collection, Making Past Present explores Twombly’s engagement with the art, culture, and history of the ancient Mediterranean.
Working in Gaeta, Italy, and Lexington, Virginia, Twombly returned to painting at a large scale in the 2000s. The shift followed his 1994 retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the critical success of Lepanto, a suite of twelve paintings first shown at the 49th Biennale di Venezia in 2001. In these works, he adopted a new approach to color with palettes of lush, saturated hues. Slender lines and loops of paint balance expressive dynamism and elegance, while denser strokes evoke the petals of peonies and chrysanthemums. The paintings are imbued with the uninhibited spirit of Bacchanalia and the vivacity of fresh blossoms; at once vital and elegiac, they meditate on poetry, history, and myth.
One highlight is a set of six panels composed with verdant greens and luminous white, Untitled I–VI (Green Painting) (2002–03), which was presented publicly only once before as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2016 exhibition Unfinished: Thoughts Made Visible. Also included are Twombly’s works on paper, which blur the distinctions between painting, drawing, and writing, and his sculptures, which extend his concerns with gesture and materiality into three dimensions. Assembled from plaster, wood, and scraps found in his studio, these objects suggest fragments of the monumental architectonic and sculptural forms of ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. Twombly often painted the sculptures white or cast them in bronze, unifying their disparate forms while retaining the tactility of their surfaces.
A fully illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition, with a conversation on Twombly between artists Tacita Dean and Julie Mehretu.
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Cy Twombly: Imperfect Paradise
Eleonora Di Erasmo, cocurator of Un/veiled: Cy Twombly, Music, Inspirations, a program of concerts, video screenings, and works by Cy Twombly at the Fondazione Nicola Del Roscio, Rome, reflects on the resonances and networks of inspiration between the artist and music. The program was the result of an extensive three-year study, done at the behest of Nicola Del Roscio in the Rome and Gaeta offices of the Cy Twombly Foundation, intended to collect, document, and preserve compositions by musicians around the world who have been inspired by Twombly’s work, or to establish an artistic dialogue with them.
Cy Twombly: Making Past Present
In 2020, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, announced their plan for a survey of Cy Twombly’s artwork alongside selections from their permanent ancient Greek and Roman collection. The survey was postponed due to the lockdowns necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic, but was revived in 2022 with a presentation at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles from August 2 through October 30. In 2023, the exhibition will arrive at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The curator for the exhibition, Christine Kondoleon, and Kate Nesin, author of Cy Twombly’s Things (2014) and advisor for the show, speak with Gagosian director Mark Francis about the origin of the exhibition and the aesthetic and poetic resonances that give the show its title: Making Past Present.
Say Goodbye, Catullus, to the Shores of Asia Minor
Thierry Greub tracks the literary references in Cy Twombly’s epic painting of 1994.
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.
Tour & Book Signing
Thursday, February 23, 2023, 6pm
Gagosian, 980 Madison Avenue, New York
Art historian and lecturer Thierry Greub will lead a tour of the exhibition Cy Twombly, on view at Gagosian, 980 Madison Avenue, New York, through March 4, 2023. Guiding guests through the selection of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper produced in the final decade of Twombly’s life, Greub will discuss the artist’s handwritten notations, placing them in context with their literary sources, including the poetry of Charles Olson. Following the tour, the Gagosian Shop at 976 Madison Avenue will host a reception and book signing to celebrate Greub’s recently published monumental six-volume catalogue, Cy Twombly: Inscriptions, which traces the artist’s relationship with poetry and incorporation of writing into his compositions from 1953 until his death in 2011. Published by Brill | Fink, the book will be available for purchase at the event.
Cy Twombly: Inscriptions (Paderborn, Germany: Brill | Fink, 2022)