cy twombly: in beauty it is finished

art exhibitions, like the cy twombly exhibition of 94 drawings and works on paper at gagosian gallery in new york, can be more momentous than blockbuster museum exhibitions.

 

*cy twombly:  in beauty it is finished : drawings 1951-2008

8 march-25 april 2018

gagosian | 522 west 21st street | new york, NY


i walked through the exhibition three times.  and then, after i left, i decided to return to look at my favorite drawings again…

one wall, featuring five early, atypically polychromatic, crayon, gouache, and pencil drawings.

cy twombly: in beauty it is finished : drawings 1951-2008

installation view | gagosian | 522 west 21st street | new york, NY

photo credit artwork: © cy twombly foundation | screenshot: video by pushpin films via gagosian quarterly

 

originally, there were six drawings.  twombly gifted four of the six drawings to his friend, abstract artist robert rauschenberg (1925-2008).  then, rauschenberg adhered one of the drawings to one of his combines.

robert rauschenberg (1925-2008) | rhebus | 1955 | oil, synthetic polymer paint, pencil, crayon, pastel, cut-and-pasted printed and painted papers, and fabric on canvas mounted and stapled to fabric, in three panels

museum of modern art (moma) | new york, NY

photo credit (c) 2018 robert rauschenberg foundation via moma

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | 1954 | gouache, wax crayon, and colored pencil on paper

cy twombly foundation | new york, NY, rome, italy & gaeta, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via gagosian

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | 1954 | gouache, wax crayon, and colored pencil on paper

cy twombly foundation | new york, NY, rome, italy & gaeta, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via cy twombly foundation

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | 1954 | gouache, wax crayon, and colored pencil on paper

museum of modern art (moma) | new york, NY

photo credit (c) 2018 cy twombly foundation via moma

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | 1954 | gouache, wax crayon, and colored pencil on paper

museum of modern art (moma) | new york, NY

photo credit (c) 2018 cy twombly foundation via moma

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | 1954 | gouache, wax crayon, and colored pencil on paper

museum of modern art (moma) | new york, NY

photo credit (c) 2018 cy twombly foundation via moma

 

the five drawings reminded me of pastel drawings by abstract expressionist artist joan mitchell (1925-1992).

joan mitchell (1925-1992) | untitled | 1991 | pastel on paper

sold for US$98,500 | christie’s new york | post war and contemporary morning session | 11 november 2010 | sale 2356 | lot 235

photo credit christie’s

 

one gallery was filled with calligraphy drawings.  not only calligraphic, but also epigraphic.

cy twombly: in beauty it is finished : drawings 1951-2008

installation view | gagosian | 522 west 21st street | new york, NY

photo credit rob mckeever via gagosian

 

including, one work in 30 parts.  and, 4 drawings from a private collection.

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | 1970 | oil, wax crayon, and pencil on paper, in 30 parts

cy twombly foundation | new york, NY, rome, italy & gaeta, italy

photo credit artwork: © cy twombly foundation | screenshot: video by pushpin films via gagosian quarterly

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | 1970 | oil and wax crayon on paper

private collection

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via gagosian

 

another gallery was filled with blackboard drawings.

cy twombly: in beauty it is finished : drawings 1951-2008

installation view | gagosian | 522 west 21st street | new york, NY

photo credit rob mckeever via gagosian

 

layer upon layer of lines, marks, and erasures.  made with crayon, pencil, or pen over oil on paper.

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | 1969 | oil and wax crayon on paper

cy twombly foundation | new york, NY, rome, italy & gaeta, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via gagosian

 

‘his work is based not upon concept (the trace)

but rather upon an activity (tracing).’

-french philoopher, roland barthes (1915-1980), who wrote about the work of cy twombly

 

*exhibited concurrently with cy twombly: coronation of sesostris at gagosian | 980 madison avenue | new york, NY.

click here to read my post about cy twombly: coronation of sesostris.

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