Opening reception: Thursday 15 September, 6pm-8pm
Gagosian presents an exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Cy Twombly, organized in association with the Cy Twombly Foundation. Marking the first appearance of the artist’s work at the Beverly Hills gallery since Cy Twombly: The Last Paintings in 2012, it gathers art produced in the final decade of Twombly’s life.
Plaster, acrylic, wood, paper, staples, and ink
22 7/8 x 14 7/8 x 11 1/4 in / 58 x 37.8 x 28.5 cm
© Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Belisario Manicone, Rome. Courtesy Gagosian
Acrylic, wax crayon, and pencil on handmade paper, in unbound handmade book, 16 pages
Each page (approximately): 22 1/2 x 15 1/4 in / 56.9 x 38.7 cm
© Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Peter Schälchli, Zurich. Courtesy Gagosian
Acrylic and pencil on wood panel, in artist’s frame
104 3/4 x 79 x 2 1/2 in / 266.1 x 200.7 x 6.3 cm
Collection of Bill Bell © Cy Twombly Foundation. Courtesy Gagosian
Added to list
Gagosian’s exhibition coincides with Cy Twombly: Making Past Present, at the J. Paul Getty Museum from August 2 through October 30, 2022. The first institutional presentation in Los Angeles dedicated to the artist in nearly three decades, Making Past Present explores Twombly’s engagement with the art, culture, and history of the ancient Mediterranean, and will travel to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in 2023.
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 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 geometry, 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.
Cy Twombly, Installation view, 2022 © Cy Twombly Foundation. Photo: Jeff McLane. Courtesy Gagosian