Gagosian presents an exhibition of Cy Twombly paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, organized in collaboration with the Cy Twombly Foundation from January 20 to March 4, 2023.
The exhibition, which opens on January 20 over two floors of the gallery at 980 Madison Avenue, features art from Twombly’s final decade of life.
Making Past Present: Cy Twombly, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, runs from January 14 through May 7, 2023, and is co-curated by Gagosian. Making Past Present juxtaposes Twombly’s work with ancient Greek, Roman, Egyptian, and Near Eastern items from the museum, as well as objects from the artist’s own collection, to illustrate Twombly’s involvement with the art, culture, and history of the ancient Mediterranean.
Twombly returned to large-scale painting in the 2000s, working in Gaeta, Italy, and Lexington, Virginia. Following his retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1994 and the critical triumph of Lepanto, a suite of twelve paintings initially displayed at the 49th Biennale di Venezia in 2001, he made the change. With palettes of sumptuous, saturated hues, he took a fresh approach to color in these paintings. Slender paint lines and loops blend expressive liveliness and grace, while heavier strokes resemble peony and chrysanthemum petals. The paintings have the free energy of Bacchanalia and the vivacity of new blooms; they are both lively and elegiac, and they reflect on poetry, history, and myth.
Untitled I-VI (Green Painting) (2002-03), a group of six panels made of verdant greens and bright white, is a standout. It was previously shown publicly only once, as part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 2016 exhibition Unfinished: Thoughts Made Visible. Twombly’s works on paper, which blur the lines between painting, drawing, and writing, are also included, as are his sculptures, which take his concerns with gesture and materiality into three dimensions. These objects, made from plaster, wood, and scraps found in his studio, resemble fragments of monumental architectural and sculptural forms from ancient Egypt, Rome, and Greece. Twombly frequently painted or cast his sculptures in bronze, integrating their various forms while keeping the tactility of their surfaces.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, as well as a conversation between artists Tacita Dean and Julie Mehretu about Twombly.