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"CY TWOMBLY: The Sculpture"
2000-09-18 until 2000-11-26
Menil Collection
Houston, TX, USA

CY TWOMBLY: The Sculpture presents a comprehensive selection of 65 of the artist’s three-dimensional works, including many sculptures never before publicly shown. Famous for his gestural paintings and prolific drawings, Twombly also created—working in plaster and bronze with found objects—a significant body of sculpture of poetic intensity. Twombly's interest in sculpture began early in his career.

This exhibition will feature a group of Twombly’s earliest sculptures, from the 1940s and 50s, assemblages made of modest everyday objects and covered with white paint (a material the artist calls my marble, referring to the medium of classical sculpture). The coating of white, Katharina Schmidt notes, dematerializes the works, lending an aura of timelessness. Inscribed and scrawled upon their surfaces are verses from great poets—Archilochos, Rumi, Rilke, Kavafy. Twombly's sculptures continue to bear these traces of human emotion (and) human life through time, notes Schmidt, as precious and fleeting as the sculptures themselves. The exhibition also includes work from the period beginning in 1976, when new forms emerged, more purely abstract than the earlier, totemic pieces, reflecting such longtime influences as Mediterranean landscape and antiquities. All of Twombly’s sculpture, the art critic David Sylvester notes, transmits delight—delight in things and in how light delights in things and things in light.

The exhibition is curated by Katharina Schmidt, director of the Kunstmuseum Basel, and Paul Winkler, former director of The Menil Collection.


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