25 May – 29 July 2017
Gagosian Gallery, Athens
Gagosian is pleased to present an exhibition of Cy Twombly’s photography, to coincide with “Divine Dialogues” at the Museum of Cycladic Art. Curated by Nikolaos Stampolidis from the Cycladic Art Museum and Jonas Storsve, curator of the recent Twombly retrospective at Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, “Divine Dialogues” will show Twombly’s work alongside classical antiquities.
The gallery exhibition comprises more than twenty photographs of natural subjects—tulips, strawberries, cabbages, lemons—taken in Rome and Gaeta between 1985 and 2008, and a bronze sculpture. From his days as a student at Black Mountain College during the early 1950s until his death in 2011 at the age of 83, Twombly captured his daily life in photographs. He recorded the verdant landscapes of Virginia and the coasts of Italy; close-up details of ancient buildings and sculptures; studio interiors; and still lifes of objects and flowers.
Beginning in the early 1990s, Twombly used specialized copiers to enlarge his Polaroid images on matte paper, resulting in subtle distortions that approximate the timeless qualities of his paintings and sculptures with their historical and literary allusions. Recalling the Pictorialism of photographers such as Alfred Stieglitz, the expressive nature of Twombly's prints transcends the mechanical aspects of the medium.
Cy Twombly, Dionysus (Rome), 1984/91, portfolio of one dry-ink photograph, 11 5/8 × 10 7/8 inches (29.5 × 27.5 cm), AP 2/2 © Nicola Del Roscio Foundation.
Cy Twombly was born in 1928 in Lexington, Virginia and died in Italy in 2011. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1947–49); the Art Students League, New York (1950–51); and Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1951–52). In 1995, the Cy Twombly Gallery opened at The Menil Collection, Houston, exhibiting works by Twombly since 1954. Recent institutional exhibitions include “Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons” Tate Modern, London (2008); “Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000–2007,” Art Institute of Chicago (2009); “Sensations of the Moment,” MUMOK, Vienna (2009); “Cy Twombly: Sculpture,” Museum of Modern Art, New York (2011); “Cy Twombly Photographs 1951–2010,” Museum Brandhorst, Munich (2011); “Cy Twombly: Sculptures,” Philadelphia Museum of Art (2013); “Cy Twombly: Paradise,” Museo Jumex, Mexico City (2014); “Cy Twombly: Treatise on the Veil,” The Morgan Library & Museum, New York (2014); “Cy Twombly: Paradise,” Ca’ Pesaro, Venice (2015); and “Cy Twombly,” Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2017).
In 2010, the permanent site-specific painting Ceiling was unveiled in the Salle des Bronzes at the Musée du Louvre, and Twombly was named Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur by the French government.