tag archives: cy twombly

 

*cy twombly: coronation of sesostris

8 march-28 april 2018

gagosian | 980 madison avenue | new york, NY

 

the mythological one day rise and fall of ancient egyptian warrior, conqueror, and pharaoh , sesostris.

drawn, painted, and written in 10 parts.

cy twombly: coronation of sesostris

installation view | gagosian | 980 madison avenue | new york, NY

photo credit rob mckeever via gagosian

 

the rising sun [an ideogram for sesostris]

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | coronation of sesostris | panel 1 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

the wheeled chariot of sesotris [an ideogram for military conquest]

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | coronation of sesostris | panel 2 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

the epigraph:

‘eros, weaver [of myth],

eros, sweet and bitter,

eros bringer of pain.’ 

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | coronation of sesostris | panel 3 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

the shining sun after rising high into the sky

 

cy twombly (1928-2011)  | coronation of sesostris | panel 4 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

the arrival of the solar barque [sun barge or sun boat] of sesostris

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | coronation of sesostris | panel 5 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

an interpretation of the poem ‘when the gods depart’

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | coronation of sesostris | panel 6 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

the sun boat burns and disintegrates

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | coronation of sesostris | panel 7 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

the sun boat dissolves into its reflection, and sinks into the sea [an allusion to j.w.m. turner (1775-1851)]

‘they (the gods) are leaving,

glorious but unheeded,

as the mortal body sinks into oblivion,

scarcely registering their passing. 

nunc est bibendum: 

sorrows are drowned,

the boat is a drunken boat.’ [barely legible]

 

cy twombly (1928-2011)  | coronation of sesostris | panel 8 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

the burnt wreckage of the sun boat

‘leaving paphos ringed with waves’

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | coronation of sesostris | panel 9 | 2000 | Acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

the epigraph, repeated:

‘leaving kypros the lovely

and paphos ringed with waves.’ [illegible]

 ‘eros, weaver of myth,

eros sweet and bitter,

eros bringer of pain.’

 

cy twombly (1928-2011) | coronation of sesostris | panel 10 | 2000 | acrylic, crayon, and pencil on canvas

collection of françois pinault | palazzo grassi | venice, italy

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation via tate

 

*exhibited concurrently with cy twombly: in beauty it is finished at gagosian | 522 west 21st street | new york, NY.

click here to read my post about cy twombly: in beauty it is finished.

click here to read a tate museum research publication about coronation of sesostris.

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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anish kapoor | gathering clouds | fiberglass and paint | 2014

alberto giacometti (1901-1966) | the cube | bronze | 1934-1935

proportio | palazzo fortuny | 2015 venice art biennale-collateral event | 9 may-22 november 2015 | venice, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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ettore spalletti | untitled, upside down | colored slip on alabaster | 2000

proportio | palazzo fortuny | 2015 venice art biennale-collateral event | 9 may-22 november 2015 | venice, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

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joana hadjithomas & khalil joreige | latent image, diary of a photographer, 2009-2015 (part III of the project wonder beirut) | 177 days of performances, 354 artist books, timeline shelves

2015 venice art biennale-arsenale | 9 may-22 november 2015 | venice, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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shuji mukai | space of signs selfie studio | installation in situ | 2015

proportio | palazzo fortuny | 2015 venice art biennale-collateral event | 9 may-22 november 2015 | venice, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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daniel boyd | untitled (TI1) | oil, charcoal, and archival glue on polyester | 2015

daniel boyd | untitled (TI2) | oil, charcoal, and archival glue on polyester | 2015

2015 venice art biennale-arsenale | 9 may-22 november 2015 | venice, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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nairy baghramian | retainer | cast aluminum, silicon, polycarbonate, chromed metal, print, painted metal, rubber | 2013

slip of the tongue | punta della dogana | 2015 venice art biennale-collateral event | 12 april 2015-10 january 2016 | venice, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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ursula von rydingsvard | elegantaka II | resin | 2013-14

ursula von rydingsvard | giardino della marinaressa | 2015 venice art biennale-collateral event | 5 may-22 november 2015 | venice, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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luciano vistosi. scultore | museo del vetro | 2015 venice art biennale-collateral event | 9 february 2015-17 january 2016 | murano, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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cy twombly | untitled (new york city) | oil based house paint and wax crayon on canvas | 1968

cy twombly. paradise | ca’ pesaro | 2015 venice art biennale-collateral event | 6 may-13 september 2015 | venice, italy

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

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eduardo basualdo | grito (shout) | paper, graphite, and metal | 2015

2015 venice art biennale-arsenale | 9 may-22 november 2015 | venice, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

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sean scully | doric asceding | oil on aluminum | 2012

sean scully. land sea | palazzo falier | 2015 venice art biennale-collateral event | 9 may-22 november 2015 | venice, italy

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

there is usually a showstopper room at the san francisco decorator showcase.

last year, it was the living room by catherine kwong design, with a cy twombly like floor.

living room | catherine kwong design | 2013 san francisco decorator showcase

living room floor | painted by stancil studios | 2013 san francisco decorator showcase

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | acrylic on canvas | 2006

sotheby’s new york | contemporary art evening auction | 14 may 2014 | lot 41

 photo credits bess friday, bess friday, and sotheby’s

this year, it’s the master bedroom by antonio martins interior design,

who paneled the bedroom in blue and white portugese tiles, called azulejos.

master bedroom | antonio martins interior design | 2014 san francisco decorator showcase

photo credit drew kelly

martins, who was born in portugal, grew up in brazil, and now works in san francisco and lisbon, re-imagined the traditional tiles as contemporary art.  one of martins’ relatives loaned the 17th century portugese bilros bed to him for the showcase.  martins imported the family heirloom to san francisco and had it restored.  another relative assisted martins by taking photographs of the portugese tile collection at the museu nacional do azulejo (MNAz) in lisbon.

photographs taken by martins’ relative at the museu nacional do azulejo (MNAz) in lisbon

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

martins collaborated with decorative artists linda horning and katherine jacobus, who painted the 243 masonite wall panels for the bedroom from the museu nacional do azulejo photographs.  they took some artistic license.  to modernize the azulejos, they increased the size of the 4″x4″ tiles to 24″x24″ panels.  but, they wanted the 24″x24″ panels to appear authentic.  so, they applied a crackled finish on the panels to replicate the crackled glaze on the tiles.  and, they painted the scenic panels in sequence, so that the panels would seem historically accurate.

master bedroom azulejos wall panels | painted by linda horning and katherine jacobus | 2014 san francisco decorator showcase

photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

martins deconstructed the scenic panels, then reconfigured them, and installed them on the bedroom walls.

‘i love the use of traditional design and techniques in a whole new way.’

-antonio martins

interior designer antonio martins

photo credit drew kelly

the deconstructed panels of azulejos could be compared to contemporary art.

photo credit drew kelly

eduardo nery | vibracao I | 1987 | artist’s loan | museu nacional do azulejo | lisbon, portugal

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

and, the bedroom could be compared to a contemporary art gallery.  not only are the floors and ceiling painted white.  but, each corner also contains a sculptural composition.

antonio martins | rope sculpture

braided from 200 pounds of italian jute

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

tokujin yoshioka for driade | tokyo pop polyethelene chaise longue | 2003 | coup d’etat | san francisco, CA

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

photo credit drew kelly
the wall panels and the window coverings are so well coordinated that the fabric looks like it could have been hand painted by horning and jacobus.

the bed is framed by contemporary furniture.  vintage john dickinson african side tables at the head.  and, folding stools in the style of poul kjaerholm at the foot.

john dickinson | african series plaster side table

photo credit drew kelly

a contemporary brass sideboard, which acts as a vitrine for blue and white porcelain vessels, is the focal point of the opposing wall.

scala luxury | spider sideboard | coup d’etat | san francisco, CA

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

when i visited lisbon in 2004, i thought that some of the contemporary azulejos at the museu nacional do azulejo (MNAz) were as outstanding as some of the historic tiles.  the MNAz owns the largest portugese tile collection in the world.  so globally, it is considered one of the most important ceramics museums.

highlights of the MNAz collection include a panoramic scene of lisbon prior to the earthquake that devastated the city in 1755.

photo credit vuelaviajes.com

grande vista de lisboa | museu nacional do azulejo | lisbon, portugal

photo credits museu nacional do azulejo
which do you prefer?  historic or contemporary azulejos?

paolo ferreira (1911-1999) | lisbonne aux mille couleurs | 1937 | museu nacional do azulejo | lisbon, portugal

shown at the portugese pavillion at the 1937 paris international exhibition

photo credit jose pessos

some more information about azulejos:
the word azulejo is derived from the arabic word الزليج (az-zulayj): zellig, which means polished stone.

azulejos are square ceramic tiles, which are decorated on one side, often with tin glaze.  tin glaze is a lead glaze with tin oxide added to make it opaque.  tin glaze does not run when fired, so tin oxide is also a pigment stabilizer.

azulejos have been used as a traditional component of portugese architecture since about 1500, when king manuel I (1469-1521) imported tile from the mujedar workshops in seville, spain to decorate his palace in sintra, portugal.  seville became a tile manufacturing center under moorish rule between the 8th and the 13th centuries.  in portugal, azulejos have been used as an ornamental or functional building material on the interior or exterior of public or private buildings since then.

in addition to the influences of hispano-moorish geometric tile, other stylistic influences include italian polychrome majolica, and dutch blue and white delft ware.

geometric azulejos | sala dos arabes | circa 1503 | palacio nacional de sintra | sintra, portugal

photo credit maria julia laginha

 polychrome azulejos | circa 1670 | palacio dos marqueses de fronteira | lisbon, portugal

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

blue and white azulejos | circa 1670 | palacio dos marqueses de fronteira | lisbon, portugal

photo credit lisa walsh | innerspace

azulejos patterns followed historical design trends.

moorish…

gothic, renaissance, mannerism…

grotesques…

allegorical, mythological, or religious scenes…

figurative panels…

vases of flowers…

bucolic, mythological, satirical, hunting, or war scenes…

rococo, neoclassical…

ecclecticism, modernism…

abstract, contemporary.

the late 17th and early 18th centuries are considered the ‘golden age’ of azulejos.

the palacio dos marqueses de fronteira in lisbon contains one of the most important collections of azulejos from the ‘golden age’.  the michelin green guide describes the quality and the variety of the azulejos at the palacio dos marqueses de fronteira as ‘outstanding.’

i thought that the azulejos at the palacio dos marqueses de fronteira were showstoppers, too.

references:

the art of azulejo in portugal exhibition catalog | instituto camoes

museu nacional do azulejo (MNAz)

palacio dos marqueses de fronteira

attending all of the auction previews at christie’s, sotheby’s, or bonham’s is one of the things that my husband, bob, and i both miss about living in london.  our recent visit to london coincided with post war and contemporary art week.  so, of course we couldn’t resist attending the auction previews in the evening, after work and before dinner.

instead of neo-expressionist or figurative painters, such as basquiat or bacon, many of my favorite artists, such as cy twombly, are abstract expressionists.  somehow, the freedom and spontaneity of their work is really appealing.  if i could have bid on anything, it would have been twombly’s calligraphy drawings at christie’s, king street.

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | gouache and wax crayon on card | 1970

sold for GBP 577,250 | US$ 906,283

post war and contemporary art evening auction | 14 feb 2012 | christie’s | london, king street | sale 8052 lot 24

photo credit christie’s

cy twombly (1928-2011) | untitled | gouache and wax crayon on card | 1970

sold for GBP 713,250 | US$ 1,119,803

post war and contemporary art evening auction | 14 feb 2012 | christie’s | london, king street | sale 8052 lot 47

photo credit christie’s

he created them at the same time as his blackboard series, which became famous for blurring the lines between drawing and painting.

cy twombly | untitled | gouache and wax crayon on paper | 1969

cy twombly-works from the sonnabend collection | 7 feb-17 mar 2012 | eykyn-maclean | london, united kingdom

photo credit (c) cy twombly foundation

eykyn-maclean gallery is showing cy twombly-works from the sonnabend collection from 7 february-17 march 2012—one of the many museum quality commercial exhibits that accompany the february impressionst, modern, post war, and contemporary art auctions in london.

if you could, which would you choose?  a cy twombly calligraphy or blackboard drawing?

cy twombly blackboard drawing above the bar in the apartment of aerin lauder zinterhofer | new york, NY

photo credit francois halard