Cy Twombly Retrospective Exhibition
100 of Cy Twombly’s works, including paintings, drawings and sculptures are on display at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, marking the most comprehensive show the artist has had in thus far in Spain and highlighting the tremendous influence Cy Twombly has had on postwar art. Curated by Carmen Gimenez, Guggenheim Bilbao’s curator of 20th Century art, the exhibition is a joint effort between that museum and the Tate Modern, and is arranged in roughly chronological order, featuring some well known Twombly pieces.
Nine Discourses on Commodus (1963), a recent acquisition belonging to the Guggenheim Bilbao’s permanent collection, is a nine piece polyptych that is also a central piece in the exhibition. Meant to be viewed together, the panels are a meditation on Commodus, a Roman Emperor and son of Marcus Aurelius, reflecting Twombly’s career-long interest in antiquity and mythology. Ferragosto (1961), a five piece set which was actually the first series of paintings conceived as such by Twombly. The series, which unlike Commodus can be viewed as separate pieces unto themselves, was previously spread across the collections of several museums and private collections; the display at the Guggenheim is thus a unique opportunity to see them all at once. Quattro Stagioni (1993-5), a series currently housed at the Tate Modern in London which revolves around seasonal themes, symbols and colors, is another important series on display.
Many of the works are on loan from renowned arts institutions, including the Tate Modern in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris as well as from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Menil Collection of Houston and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., among others. The exhibit occupies the entire second floor, and a gallery on the first floor of the landmark museum designed by Frank Gehry, a setting which is a work of art itself and can be seen to interact with the works in the exhibit.
Thanks to Arts Observed for the article.