3 Gallerivandring Foråret 2015: Charlottenborg Clausens Kunsthandel, Marie Kirkegaard Gallery, specta og Hans Alf Gallery



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3 Gallerivandring Foråret 2015: Charlottenborg

Clausens Kunsthandel, Marie Kirkegaard Gallery, SPECTA og Hans Alf Gallery.

Clausens Kunsthandel http://www.clausenskunsthandel.dk Dan Sterup-Hansen (1918–1995)

Om galleriet: Viggo Clausen (11. februar 1916 i Korinth (Fyn) – 12. februar 1992) var en dansk kunsthandler. I 1953 åbnede han Clausens Kunsthandel i Toldbodgade i København, på et tidspunkt, hvor der var få kunstgallerier i Danmark. Han var søn af skovrider Valdemar Clausen (død 1943) og hustru Ida Marie f. Petersen (død 1954).

Allerede 1954 udstillede han værker af bl.a. Helle Thorborg. Andre kunstnere, der blev knyttet til galleriet var Poul Ekelund, Seppo Mattinen, Reidar Magnus, Albert Mertz, Henry Heerup, Palle Nielsen samt Svend Wiig Hansen, som har skrevet om Clausen:

”Der er mange Huse – men et var noget særligt – Clausens Kunsthandel Toldbodgade 9 – det er Navnet – men det var ogsaa Stedet, hvor Mennesker kom for at tale og se med Clausen – af nogle blev der sagt, at det var en Livsnødvendighed at komme der – en Oase – nogle af dem, der kom, var os – vi, der udstillede, for os blev det et Hjemsted og Lærested – her mødtes vi uden Aftale med hinanden i festlige og alvorlige Samtaler og Diskussioner omkring Clausen – varme Samvær, der kunde bryde en mørk Tilstand.

Men de bedste Timer, var nok dem, hvor man var alene med ham og forberedte en Udstilling – den første spændende Dag – da alle Arbejderne blev lagt ud på Gulvet – hans granskende Blik, disse Sekunders lange Tavshed – og den Venten paa Godkendelsen – det var Tid, der kunne huskes – og med hans befriende Ord og Tro paa, at det nok skulle gaa godt, kunde man gaa derfra i Ro. Meget har vi at takke Clausen for, og det Træ, han plantede i dette særlige Hus, gror stadig."

I 1985 modtog han N.L. Høyen Medaljen for sin pionérindsats i dansk kunstliv.

Galleriet eksisterer fortsat under datteren Lis Clausen.



Preben Michael Hornung, Politiken: Intet galleri bryder sig om at udstille hvad som helst af hvem som helst. Men de gode gallerier kan i modsætning til de mindre gode tillade sig at vælge og vrage. Alligevel har Clausens Kunsthandel altid skilt sig ud, især før i tiden.

At udstille hos Clausen var ikke bare noget, man gjorde, men noget, man fik lov til. Grundlæggeren Viggo Clausen var aldrig bange for at fortælle sine kunstnere, hvad han mente om det, de lavede, og han var heller ikke bange for at fortælle sine kunder, hvorfor han aldrig var bange for sine kunstnere.

Derfor var det en ære at blive taget under Clausens vinger og få lov at vise sine ting i det velholdte gamle bindingsværkshus i Toldbodgade. Det var et kvalitetsstempel i en branche, hvor kritisk funderede æresbevisninger ellers er få.

Sakrosankt sted: Da Clausens Kunsthandel åbnede i 1953, bugnede København ikke ligefrem med gallerier eller kunsthandlere. Der var Galerie Børge Birch, Galerie Waldorff, Pustervig Kunsthandel, Galerie Gl. Strand og enkelte andre. Men Clausens Kunsthandel blev snart anset for at være et næsten sakrosankt sted: moralens vogter blandt de københavnske kunsthandlere, og den nære forbindelse til Kunstakademiet blev intensiveret i takt med, at kunstnerkredsen blev rekrutteret blandt den legendariske professor Aksel Jørgensens bedste elever.

Det var også hos Clausen, at disse menneskeskildrere, mest tegnere og grafikere, i halvtredserne gik sammen om at skabe udstillingen ’Mennesket’, der kom til at stå som det figurative og socialt bevidste alternativ til de abstrakte bevægelser inden for ’Cobra’ og ’Klar Form’/Linien 2.

I Toldbodgade 9 blev der efter grafikeren Palle Nielsens afgang som professor ved Kunstakademiet også oprettet et særligt onsdagsakademi, ’Det Hemmelige Akademi’, hvor professorens gamle elever én gang om ugen gennem fire år kunne tegne model. Nærheden til Kunstakademiet var baggrunden for, at Viggo Clausen var blandt de første modtagere af Høyen Medaljen.

Immun over for kommercielle overvejelser: Bogen om Clausens Kunsthandel burde være kommet for tre år siden, da stedet kunne have markeret 50-året for sin grundlæggelse. En sådan markering ligger imidlertid Clausens Kunsthandel fjernt. Man foretrækker at virke stærkt i det stille. Derfor er Sys Hindsbo, Eske K. Mathiesen og Jytte Rex gået sammen om at sammenstille denne publikation, der er endt med at blive mindre end sin anledning.

Ikke mindst for Sys Hindsbo, der har skrevet introduktionsteksten, har Clausens Kunsthandel, repræsenteret først af Viggo Clausen og efter hans død af datteren, Lis Clausen, været meget mere end et sted, der bare viste og solgte kunst. Man mærker på karakteristikken af især Viggo Clausen, at mange i ham så et menneske, der havde ikke så lidt af den strenge lærers kvaliteter over sig, et menneske, hvis måde at drive kunsthandel på virkede fuldstændig immunt over for kommercielle overvejelser og kynisk smartness. Det skal ikke få nogen til at tro, at en af landets længstlevende kunsthandlerbutikker på nogen måde har haft en letsindig omgang med den lønsomhed, der er grundlaget for al virksomhed.

De korte karakteristikker af de kunstnere, der er knyttet til stedet, er tydeligvis skrevet af kolleger og ikke kunsthistorikere, for de er både poetiske og uformelle. Den afsluttende årstalsliste over Toldbodgade 9 (ved Tom Sjørup) er derimod mangelfuld og gådefuld. Vi får at vide, hvilket år Abildgaard, Jens Juel og Eckersberg blev født, men hvad har det med sagen at gøre? Og vi får at vide, hvornår Steen Eiler Rasmussen fødes, men ikke hvornår Viggo Clausen kom til verden og ej heller hvornår han gik bort igen. Men der står dog, at Lis Clausen blev født 27. juni 1946.

Rundt om Sterup

Grafiske varianter og prøvetryk, skitser til udsmykninger, pengesedler og frimærker samt malerier, stentøj og tegninger

”Han søger at slaa bro over kløften mellem geometrisk alkemi og behovet for at udtrykke sine menneskelige følelser”

Ulf Linde om Dan Sterup-Hansen i avisen Information 18.07.1957

To yderligheder - det nøgtern abstrakt-geometriske og det medfølende humanistiske - kendetegner Dan Sterup-Hansen. Hans kunst har sit udspring i mennesket, sætter det i fokus og opfordrer til tolerance, ikke-vold og et fredfyldt fællesskab. Derved beskæftiger Sterup- Hansen sig såvel med de eksistentielle spørgsmål og meningen med livet, som med den trivielle dagligdag. Han viser rædslerne, ansigt til ansigt med synlige og usynlige trusler, angsten for en usikker fremtid og protesten mod uret, krig og elendighed. Men han fortæller også om de små glæder og dramaer i livet: Barndomserindringer, en dans i parken, om fodboldkampe eller legemligt og åndeligt arbejde indtil den skånselsløse skildring af døden. Motiverne bliver forenklet og sammensat af geometriske figurer indtil kun en essens af det oprindelig motiv er tilbage. Alligevel bliver Sterup-Hansen aldrig fuldstændig abstrakt. Selv om han næsten helt opløser den konkrete form, er der altid en udtalt menneskelighed tilbage.

Sujetterne er hentet fra den verden der omgav Dan Sterup-Hansen: En procession blinde krigsveteraner i Paris inspirerer ham i begyndelsen af 1950erne til det store emne ”krigsblinde” men også til de politisk motiverede ”menneskemur”. Og den helt normale hverdag på den Københavnske hovedbanegård fører til ”banegårdsbilleder” og videre til ”figurer i rum”, som følger ham gennem hele hans kunstneriske virke.

Den navnløse masse, som findes på offentlige steder, fascinerer Sterup-Hansen. Man mødes og skilles. Hver for sig, sjældent sammen.

Dan Sterup-Hansen arbejdede i forskellige kunstneriske discipliner: han malede, arbejdede med keramik og mosaik, udførte arkitektoniske udsmykninger og ikke mindst undersøgte han verden i grafikken. På udstillingen vises et bredt udvalg af grafik: modelstudier, raderinger fra rejser, politiske og sociale skildringer og figurer i rum. For Sterup-Hansen rummede det grafiske medium også altid muligheden for at eksperimenterer: formelt med fremstillingen af rum på en todimensional flade og teknisk med adskillige materialer og kombinationer af forskellige gamle og nye tryk-teknikker. Det grafiske udvalg bliver suppleret med blyantskitser, malerier og keramik, som alt sammen viser Sterup-Hansens undersøgende og konsekvente arbejdsmåde.

Clausens Kunsthandel/Ulrike Brinkmann

Dan Sterup-Hansen (1918–1995) begyndte allerede som teenager med at udstille og debuterede som 17. årig i 1936 på Kunstnernes Efterårsudstillingen. Han er uddannet på Kunstakademiet 1936–1944 hos bl.a. Aksel Jørgensen og var selv professor ved Kunstakademiet 1962–74 (mur- og rumkunst) og 1974–88 (grafisk skole). Han udstillede primært i Danmark men også i udlandet, og er repræsenteret på museer og samlinger i Danmark, samt i bl.a. Sverige, Frankrig og England. Sterup-Hansen modtog Eckersbergs Medalje i 1950 og Thorvalsens Medalje i 1979, og var medlem af Den Frie Udstilling fra 1950.

Ulrike Brinkmann forfatter til: ”Mennesket – Der Mensch. Das Menschenbild in der dänischen Graphik nach dem Zweiten Weltkrieg”. 2014.

Fra Dan Sterup-Hansens tekst i "Dan Sterup-Hansen, Træsnit og raderinger. Grafisk orientering", udgivet af Hans Reitzel, København 1960:

Grafisk skole var det praktiske grundlag for den frodighed og kunstneriske mangfoldighed, vi gennem en årrække har oplevet i dansk grafik, men det var Aksel Jørgensens disciplin og entusiasme, der var inspirationen. De høje krav, han stillede til præcision, kunne være knugende, men indebar også en frihed for teknisk dygtighed som bærer og formidler af sind og oplevelser, der skaber rum omkring den, der tør tage kravene op, og gør livet nærværende, fordi det bliver muligt at modtage det, og give det fra sig igen.

Derfor elsker vi formen og materialets muligheder og tænker med taknemmelighed på Aksel Jørgensen, der stillede krav, skænkede dem som en gave, der tændte håb, gav forhåbning. Jeg har arbejdet i spring og på en måde altid forladt grafikken, når jeg har arbejdet frem til et sted, hvor processen ligesom syntes at være blevet et instrument, der lover store glæder, ja, så føler jeg, at forhold, jeg ikke er herre over, har revet mig væk fra arbejdet, og at jeg ved at kigge ind i det forjættede land har haft glæden.



Marie Kirkegaard Gallery http://mariekirkegaard.com Jacob Jessen

Det er med stor glæde at Marie Kirkegaard Gallery byder velkommen til Jacob Jessens første soloudstilling i galleriet, I Miss the Simpler Times When Birds Were Falling Out of the Sky. Med udstillingen søger Jacob Jessen at oprette en række ”blik” på verden – blik, der er forskellige fra sig selv og sit eget perspektiv.

I udstillingen møder vi som det første den dominerende og stedspecifikke konstruktion, Candy. Et signalfarvet pink objekt, der synes at svæve frit i luften og løber som en sammenhængende kæmpestruktur igennem galleriets vægge. Candy er i bogstavelig forstand et blikfang, der vender opmærksomheden mod selve perceptionen; vores blik ledes stadig videre i konstruktionens lange ubrudte forløb, mens hele værket ikke er muligt at overskue i sin helhed fra noget sted i galleriet.

Således åbner Jacob Jessen op for en udstilling med fokus rettet på en koreografi af fremmedperspektiver – vinkler og blik, der ligger udenfor ens eget. Dette kommer blandt andet til udtryk via objekter, som i sig selv er sansninger eller tilstedeværelser af andet end nu og her, og således danner bro til et ukendt terræn.

Værkserien Highly Accelerated Sculptures består af kunstigt rustede stålelementer, hvis korrosion er fremskyndet i en salttågetank. Processen er altså specifikt designet til at accelerere korrosionstiden, hvormed objekterne bliver mellem 10 og 100 år ældre end de faktisk er, og repræsenterer således en anden tid end nu og her – Highly Accelerated Sculptures er så at sige fremtiden i nuet.

Jacob Jessens I Miss the Simpler Times When Birds Were Falling Out of the Sky består således af forskellige serier af værker, der med afsæt i det subjektive og kunstneren selv, fremstår som små forskydninger af objekt, tid og rum. Serien Ghost View består af 3 billeder fotograferet af Jacob Jessens 7-årige søn, Max. Billederne er fotograferet en morgen med få sekunders mellemrum ud fra Max’s forestilling om, at de kunne blive til et kunstværk. På denne vis repræsenterer fotografierne et flertydigt perspektiv; De repræsenterer et både formet og ikke-formet potentiale og blik på samtidskunst – og de er samtidig både Jacob Jessens blik som kunstner set igennem Max, og hans blik på sin far som kunstner.

Jacob Jessen (f.1976) bor og arbejder i København. Han er uddannet fra Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi i 2009, og arbejder primært indenfor installation og tidsbaserede medier.

Han har for nyligt blandt andet udstillet separat på Danske Grafikere og medvirket på udstillinger ved Vaal Gallerii, KUMU Museum of Modern Art, Artissima 18, IMO Projects, Kunsthal Charlottenborg og ApArt. Han er i øvrigt en del af udstillingsplatformen TOVES i København.



Gallery SPECTA http://specta.dk/udstillinger.html THORDIS ADALSTEINSDOTTIR Come Closer When the Ground Is Wet

About Thordis: Þórdís Aðalsteinsdóttir (b. 1975) studied in Reykjavík as well as New York, where she graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2003. Thórdís’s paintings depict scenes of everyday simplicity played out in a fluid dream world. Her idiosyncratic figurative paintings, with their New York urban influence, are a breath of fresh air to the Icelandic art scene. The subjects—both human and animal—are often represented by unsettling distortions of their natural forms, and they inhabit a bizarre zone somewhere between realist figuration, cartoons, anime and pure fantasy.

Come Closer When the Ground Is Wet is the title of Icelandic Thordis Adalsteinsdottir’s third solo exhibition in SPECTA. The exhibition title stems from a Silver Jews song, “Sometimes a Pony gets depressed”. In the song they ask “Where do the animals sleep when the ground is wet”. Thordis Adalsteinsdottir takes that question and furthermore invites to come closer. That invitation can represent caring for our fellow creatures, need for company, a spiritual or an erotic invitation to a fellow human. Step closer so that I may better eat you.

Thordis Adalsteinsdottir’s paintings are saturated with stories. She paints what intrigues her: the people she meets, the situations she experiences and what happens in the world around her. The combination of a snapshot immediacy and meticulous detail in the painting is alluring, one is struck by the nature of the direct appearance of the characters, while seduced by rich floating repetitive patterns and color surfaces.

The characters which appear in the paintings are both animals and humans, and they occupy an equal position. Where the animals appear action-oriented and in sync with the situation, the human characters seem more perplexed and paralyzed. The paintings hold a sober, sometimes humorous, sometimes frightening and now and then cynical tone which results in an unsentimental and curiosity-stimulating universe of their own. The exhibition presents a series of recent works, and Thordis performs a mural in the gallery.

Hans Alf Gallery http://www.hansalf.com/index.php/exhibitions/future-exhibitions

Frank Fischer was born 1974 in Zurich, Switzerland, is currently based in London, has a Masters Degree in Fine Art from Chelsea, and is a Jerwood Contemporary Painters 2007 winner.

Frank Fischer’s gloss-on-aluminium paintings hits the viewer with a highly charged linear surface of reductionistic colour code, introducing a synthesis of technology, traditional study and a highly mastered process that challenges chance. Although his paintings have a sleek, almost clinically perfect appearance, the physicality and potentiality chaotic aspect of his process are visible at the bottom of every work – with a row of stalactite-like dried drips, suspended at the edge of the stretcher.

Committing the colours to the hard aluminium surface is the result of a finely honed process developed by Fischer over years of experimentation. Fischer found an affinity with gloss paint during his MA at Chelsea, and wanted to find a painting process that is endlessly repeatable, but still retains an element of chance.

Fischer ‘challenges chance’ by repeating single drips onto the smooth ground – and the work itself decides it is finished when all the drips are straight. Driven by his search for arresting colour ranges, Fischer explores the history of art and selects works purely based on the extent and order of their intrinsic colour spectrum. He then digitally processes the image and draws a selection line across the work just one pixel wide that samples the widest and most interesting colour palette.

“The most interesting part is seeing other paintings with completely different eyes – I look at the colour bases for a good combination. And I always use the original title – it’s a trail or a clue for people to find out more.”

Fischer pays homage to his source-pieces by intersecting the most significant details of the work. “Say in a work like The Last Supper, I’ll want to take the line through the head of Jesus.”

Cy Twombly:

Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly, Jr. (/saɪ ˈtwɒmbli/; April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011[1]) was an American painter of large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Musée du Louvre in Paris.

Many of his later paintings and works on paper shifted toward "romantic symbolism", and their titles can be interpreted visually through shapes and forms and words. Twombly often quoted the poet Stéphane Mallarmé as well as many classical myths and allegories in his works. Examples of this are his Apollo and The Artist and a series of eight drawings consisting solely of inscriptions of the word "VIRGIL". In a 1994 retrospective, curator Kirk Varnedoe described Twombly's work as “influential among artists, discomfiting to many critics and truculently difficult not just for a broad public, but for sophisticated initiates of postwar art as well.”[2] After acquiring Twombly's Three Studies from the Temeraire (1998–99), the Director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales said, "Sometimes people need a little bit of help in recognising a great work of art that might be a bit unfamiliar."[3] Twombly is said to have influenced younger artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Francesco Clemente, and Julian Schnabel.[4]

Twombly was born in Lexington, Virginia on April 25, 1928. Twombly's father, also nicknamed "Cy", pitched for the Chicago White Sox.[5] They were both nicknamed after the baseball great Cy Young who pitched for, among others, the Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, and Braves.

At age 12, Twombly began to take private art lessons with the Catalan modern master Pierre Daura.[6] After graduating from Lexington High School in 1946, Twombly attended Darlington School in Rome, Georgia, and studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1948–49), and at Washington and Lee University (1949–50) in Lexington, Virginia. On a tuition scholarship from 1950 to 1951, he studied at the Art Students League of New York, where he met Robert Rauschenberg, who encouraged him to attend Black Mountain College near Asheville, North Carolina. At Black Mountain in 1951 and 1952 he studied with Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell and Ben Shahn, and met John Cage.

Arranged by Motherwell, Twombly's first solo exhibition was organized by the Samuel M. Kootz Gallery in New York in 1951. At this time his work was influenced by Kline's black-and-white gestural expressionism, as well as Paul Klee's imagery. In 1952, Twombly received a grant from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts which enabled him to travel to North Africa, Spain, Italy, and France. In 1954, he served in the U.S. Army as a cryptographer in Washington, D.C. and would frequently travel to New York during periods of leave. From 1955 through 1956, he taught at the Southern Seminary and Junior College in Buena Vista, Virginia, currently known as Southern Virginia University; during the summer vacations, Twombly would travel to New York to paint in his Williams Street apartment.[7]

In 1957, Twombly moved to Rome, where he met the Italian artist Baroness Tatiana Franchetti – sister of his patron Baron Giorgio Franchetti. They were married at City Hall in New York in 1959[8] and then bought a palazzo on the Via di Monserrato in Rome. Later on, they preferred to dwell in Gaeta near Rome. In 2011, Twombly died in Rome after being hospitalized for several days; he had had cancer for many years.[9] He has a son, Cyrus Alessandro Twombly, who is also a painter and lives in Rome.

Twombly was also survived by Nicola Del Roscio, "his longtime companion."[10]

Work


After his return in 1953, Twombly served in the U.S. army as a cryptologist, an activity that left a distinct mark on his artistic style.[11] From 1955 to 1959, he worked in New York, where he became a prominent figure among a group of artists including Robert Rauschenberg – with whom he had a relationship[12] and was sharing a studio[13] – and Jasper Johns. Exposure to the emerging New York School purged figurative aspects from his work, encouraging a simplified form of abstraction. He became fascinated with tribal art, using the painterly language of the early 1950s to invoke primitivism, reversing the normal evolution of the New York School. Twombly soon developed a technique of gestural drawing that was characterized by thin white lines on a dark canvas that appear to be scratched onto the surface. His early sculptures, assembled from discarded objects, similarly cast their gaze back to Europe and North Africa. He stopped making sculptures in 1959 and did not take up sculpting again until 1976.[14]

Twombly often inscribed on paintings the names of mythological figures during the 1960s.[15] Twombly's move to Gaeta in Southern Italy in 1957 gave him closer contact with classical sources. From 1962 he produced a cycle of works based on myths including Leda and the Swan and The Birth of Venus; myths were frequent themes of Twombly's 1960s work. Between 1960 and 1963 Twombly painted the rape of Leda by the god Zeus/Jupiter in the form of a Swan six times, once in 1960, twice in 1962 and three times in 1963.[16]

Twombly's 1964 exhibition of the nine-panel Discourses on Commodus (1963) at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York was panned by artist and writer Donald Judd who said “There are a few drips and splatters and an occasional pencil line,” he wrote in a review. “There isn’t anything to these paintings.”[17]

Erotic and corporeal symbols became more prominent, whilst a greater lyricism developed in his 'Blackboard paintings'. Between 1967 and 1971, he produced a number of works on gray grounds, the 'grey paintings'. This series features terse, colorless scrawls, reminiscent of chalk on a blackboard, that form no actual words. Twombly made this work using an unusual technique: he sat on the shoulders of a friend, who shuttled back and forth along the length of the canvas, thus allowing the artist to create his fluid, continuous lines.[18] In the summer and early autumn of 1969, Twombly made a series of fourteen paintings while staying at Bolsena, a lake to the north of Rome. In 1971, Nini Pirandello, the wife of Twombly’s Roman gallerist Plinio De Martiis, died suddenly. In tribute, Twombly painted the elegiac "Nini’s Paintings".

His later sculptures exhibit a similar blend of emotional expansiveness and intellectual sophistication. From 1976, Twombly again produced sculptures, lightly painted in white, suggestive of Classical forms. Like his earlier works, these pieces are assembled from found materials such as pieces of wood or packaging, or cast in bronze and covered in white paint and plaster.[19] In an interview with critic David Sylvester, on the occasion of the large exhibition of his sculpture at Kunstmuseum Basel in 2000, Twombly revealed that, for him, the demands of making sculpture were distinctly different from those required of painting. “[Sculpture is] a whole other state. And it’s a building thing. Whereas the painting is more fusing—fusing of ideas, fusing of feelings, fusing projected on atmosphere.”[20]

In the mid-1970s, in paintings such as Untitled (1976), Twombly began to evoke landscape through colour (favouring brown, green and light blue), written inscriptions and collage elements.[21] In 1978 he worked on the monumental historical ensemble Fifty Days at Iliam, a ten-part cycle inspired by Homer's Iliad; since then Twombly continued to draw on literature and myth, deploying cryptic pictorial metaphors that situate individual experience within the grand narratives of Western tradition, as in the Gaeta canvases and the monumental Four Seasons concluded in 1994.

In an essay in the catalogue to the 2011 Dulwich exhibition (see below), Katharina Schmidt summarizes the scope and technique of Twombly's œuvre:

"Cy Twombly's work can be understood as one vast engagement with cultural memory. His paintings, drawings and sculptures on mythological subjects have come to form a significant part of that memory. Usually drawing on the most familiar gods and heroes, he restricts himself to just a few, relatively well-known episodes, as narrated by poet-historians, given visible shape by artists and repeatedly reinterpreted in the literature and visual art of later centuries.....His special medium is writing. Starting out from purely graphic marks, he developed a kind of meta-script in which abbreviated signs, hatchings, loops, numbers and the simplest of pictographs spread throughout the picture plane in a process of incessant movement, repeatedly subverted by erasures. Eventually, this metamorphosed into script itself."[22]

However, in a 1994 article Kirk Varnedoe thought it necessary to defend Twombly's seemingly random marks and splashes of paint against the criticism that "This is just scribbles – my kid could do it".

"One could say that any child could make a drawing like Twombly only in the sense that any fool with a hammer could fragment sculptures as Rodin did, or any house painter could spatter paint as well as Pollock. In none of these cases would it be true. In each case the art lies not so much in the finesse of the individual mark, but in the orchestration of a previously uncodified set of personal "rules" about where to act and where not, how far to go and when to stop, in such a way as the cumulative courtship of seeming chaos defines an original, hybrid kind of order, which in turn illuminates a complex sense of human experience not voiced or left marginal in previous art."[23]

Together with Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, Twombly is regarded as the most important representative of a generation of artists who distanced themselves from Abstract Expressionism.[24]

Exhibitions

After having shown at Stable Gallery from 1953 to 1957, Twombly moved to Leo Castelli Gallery and later exhibited with Gagosian Gallery. Gagosian Gallery opened a new gallery in Rome, Twombly's hometown, on the December 15, 2007 with their inaugural exhibition being his "Three Notes from Salalah".[25]

In 1993, at Matthew Marks Gallery in New York, an exhibition of Twombly's photographs offered a selection of large blurry color images of tulips, trees and ancient busts, based on the artist's Polaroids. In 2008, a specially curated selection of Twombly's photographic work was exhibited in Huis Marseille, the Museum for Photography, Amsterdam; the exhibition was opened by Sally Mann. For the season 2010/2011 in the Vienna State Opera Cy Twombly designed the large scale picture (176 sqm) "Bacchus" as part of the exhibition series "Safety Curtain", conceived by museum in progress.[26] In 2011, the Museum Brandhorst, mounted a retrospective of Twombly's photographs from 1951 to 2010. It later was passed over to the "Museum für Gegenwartskunst" at Siegen[27] and the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels. Twombly's work went on display as part of "Twombly and Poussin: Arcadian Painters" at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London from June 29, 2011 less than a week before Twombly's death. The show was built on a quote by Twombly stating that “I would’ve liked to have been Poussin, if I’d had a choice, in another time” and is the first time that his work was put in an exhibition with Poussin.[28] Opening in conjunction with the museum's Modern Wing, Twombly's solo exhibition —Cy Twombly: The Natural World, Selected Works 2000–2007— was on display at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2009. "The Last Paintings", Twombly's most recent solo exhibition, began in Los Angeles in early 2012. Following the Hong Kong exhibition, it will travel to Gagosian Gallery locations in London and New York throughout 2012. The eight untitled paintings are closely related to the Camino Real group that inaugurated Gagosian Paris in 2010.

Retrospectives

In 1968, the Milwaukee Art Museum mounted the first retrospective of his art. Twombly had his next retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1979, curated by David Whitney. The artist has later been honored by retrospectives at the Kunsthaus Zürich in 1987 (curated by Harald Szeemann), the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, in 1988, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1994, with additional venues in Houston, Los Angeles, and Berlin.[29] In 2001, the Menil Collection, the Kunstmuseum Basel, and the National Gallery of Art presented the first exhibition devoted entirely to Twombly's sculpture, assembling sixty-six works created from 1946 to 1998.[30] The European retrospective "Cy Twombly: Cycles and Seasons" opened at the Tate Modern, London, in June 2008, with subsequent versions at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome in 2009.

London held a Twombly retrospective at the Tate Modern from June 19 to September 14, 2008. Text for the showing read: "This was his first solo retrospective in fifteen years, and provides an overview of his work from the 1950s to now.... At the heart of the exhibition is Twombly’s work exploring the cycles associated with seasons, nature and the passing of time. Several key groups are brought together for the first time, such as Tate’s Four Seasons (1993–94) with those from the Museum of Modern Art, New York. The exhibition also explores how Twombly is influenced by antiquity, myth and the Mediterranean, for example the violent red swirls in the Bacchus 2005 paintings which bring to mind the drunken god of wine. The exhibition provides a unique opportunity to see the full range of Twombly’s long and influential career from a fresh perspective.[19] "

Collections

In 1989, the Philadelphia Museum of Art opened permanent rooms dedicated to his monumental 10-painting cycle, Fifty Days at Iliam (1978), based on Alexander Pope’s translation of “The Iliad.”[17]

The Cy Twombly Gallery of the Menil Collection in Houston, which was designed by Renzo Piano and opened in 1995, houses more than thirty of Twombly's paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, dating from 1953 to 1994. A large collection of Twombly's work is also kept by the Museum Brandhorst, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich and The Dallas Museum of Art, Texas.

In 1995, The Four Seasons entered the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art as a gift from the artist. A recent (1998–1999) Twombly work, Three Studies from the Temeraire, a triptych, was purchased by the Art Gallery of New South Wales for A$4.5 million in 2004. In 2010, Twombly’s permanent site-specific painting, Ceiling was unveiled in the Salle des Bronzes at the Musée du Louvre; he is only the third artist to have been invited to do so. The other two were Georges Braque in the 1950s and François Morellet in 2010.[31] In 2011, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, made a large acquisition of nine works worth about $75 million.[14]

Some of his work was also shown in an exhibition named 'Turner Monet Twombly: Later Paintings' which ran from 22 June to 28 October 2012 at Tate Liverpool.

The Art Institute of Chicago hosts an ongoing exhibition, "Cy Twombly: Sculpture Selections, 1948–1995". The exhibition features examples of Twombly’s sculptures made between 1948 and 1995, composed primarily of rough elements of wood coated in plaster and white paint.[33] The Institute also holds prints, drawings, and paintings by the artist in its permanent collection.[34]

Recognition

Twombly was a recipient of numerous awards, in 1984 he was awarded the “Internationaler Preis für bildende Kunst des Landes Baden-Württemberg” and in 1987 the “Rubens-Peis der Stadt Siegen,” but most notably awarded the Praemium Imperiale in 1996.

Twombly was invited to exhibit his work at the Venice Biennale in 1964, 1989 and 2001 when he was awarded the Golden Lion at the 49th Venice Biennale. In 2010, he was made Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur by the French government. During fall 2010, Tacita Dean produced a film on Twombly, titled "Edwin Parker".[35]

Cy Twombly Foundation

Twombly's will, written under U.S. law, allocated the bulk of the artist's art and cash to the Cy Twombly Foundation of New York. The foundation now controls much of Twombly's work. Under the foundation, a 25-foot-wide Beaux Arts mansion on East 82nd Street is due to open on a limited basis beginning in late 2012 as an exhibition and study center.[36]

Art market

In 1990, a Christie's auction set a record for Twombly, with his 1971 untitled blackboard painting fetching $5.5 million. In 2011, a Twombly work from 1967, "Untitled", sold for $15.2 million at Christie's in New York.[37] A new record was made in May 2012 for the 1970 painting "Untitled (New York)" at Sotheby's, selling for $ 17.4 million (€ 13.4 million).[38] In November 2013 a record price of $21.7 million for Poems to the Sea (1959), an abstract, 24-part multimedium work on paper, was achieved at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Sale.[39]

A new price record was set at Christies Contemporary Art Sale on November 12, 2014, an untitled 1970 painting from his ‘Blackboard’ series fetched far beyond the $35 million to $55 million estimate, selling at $69.6 million (£44.3m).[40]

Publications

A first monograph of drawings edited by Heiner Bastian was published in 1972. In 1977, the first monograph on the paintings was published by Propyläen Verlag in Berlin, followed by the publication of his catalogue raisonné of sculpture by Nicola Del Roscio in 1997.

Phaedrus Incident

In 2007, an exhibition of Twombly's paintings, Blooming, a Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things, and other works on paper from gallerist Yvon Lambert's collection was displayed from June to September in Avignon (France), at the Lambert Foundation (Hôtel de Caumont). On July 19, 2007, police arrested Cambodian-French artist Rindy Sam after she kissed one panel of Twombly's triptych Phaedrus. The panel, an all-white canvas, was smudged by Sam's red lipstick. She was tried in a court in Avignon for "voluntary degradation of a work of art".

Sam defended her gesture to the court: "J'ai fait juste un bisou. C'est un geste d'amour, quand je l'ai embrassé, je n'ai pas réfléchi, je pensais que l'artiste, il aurait compris... Ce geste était un acte artistique provoqué par le pouvoir de l'art" ("It was just a kiss, a loving gesture. I kissed it without thinking; I thought the artist would understand.... It was an artistic act provoked by the power of Art").



The prosecution, calling it "A sort of cannibalism, or parasitism", while admitting that Sam is "visibly not conscious of what she has done", asked that she be fined €4500 and compelled to attend a citizenship class. The art work, which is worth an estimated $2 million, was on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon.[41][42][43] In November 2007 Sam was convicted and ordered to pay €1,000 to the painting's owner, €500 to the Avignon gallery that showed it, and €1 to the painter.






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