Wednesday, June 10, 2009

To Cy Twombly

A couple of weeks ago, a friend gave me an article from the NY Times Literary Supplement. The article was about Cy Twombly's new exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in NYC, called "The Rose". His paintings were in response to Rilke's poem, "Les Roses".

As so many artists who paint "florals" will know, in the art world, the subject is considered prosaic, the work of Sunday painters. As a sometime painter of flowers, I was delighted to see Cy Twombly painting 'florals'. Very freeing. I felt like laughing out loud. I guess it's OK to paint 'florals' now that Cy Twombly is doing it!

Last week after visiting Linwood Gardens, I visited the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo to see the Action/Abstraction exhibition, Pollock, De Kooning and American Art, 1940-1976. I loved the exhibition, particularly the work of Anne Truitt, whose memoirs I had read. I had never seen her work before. Tall, elegant, silent wooden columns, each side carefully prepared and painted in many layers of colour. Her intent was to release colour from the wall.

A lovely thing happened next. On my way out of the gallery after spending a few hours in the exhibition, I stopped off in the gallery gift shop before I left. There I found the most astonishing book on Cy Twombly, which I promptly bought, called "Photographs, 1951-2007". In the introductory essay to the work, Lazlo Glozer, art historian and critic, says, 'Intoxicating beauty, flooded with light, saturated with poesy, ensconced in iridescent color, suspicious of harmony." The photos are like paintings. They are mostly sepia in tone, shot on a point and shoot camera I think, but printed with a glorious grainy surface. Many of the photos are blurry. They would never win a prize at my local camera club show....or in Photolife Magazine. They are kind of personal journal of his studio, or details of his paintings, or photos of peonies, roses, details of sculptures. But some sort of fragile and honest beauty is felt here. Inspiring.

1 comment:

  1. Nice comment about Anne Truitt, her work keeps growing...