Cy Twombly - Agori
Oil, gouache and pencil on Fabriano cardboard. 70 x 50 cm. Framed under glass. Signed and titled 'AGORI Cy Twombly'. The verso signed, dated and titled 'Cy Twombly sketch for Agori 1966'. - Traces of studio.
With the advancements of Abstract Expressionism, Cy Twombly created one of the most important and most fascinating artist's oeuvre of the 20th/21st century. From 1957, Twombly mainly lived in Rome where he concentrated on the art and culture of the Mediterranean region. In his symbolically charged works, he combines written clichés as well as cypher-like and painterly elements - mainly alluding to antique myths and literature. As the philosopher and literary scholar Roland Barthes points out, the drawn line becomes one of the artist's works primary means of expression: 'Twombly's art consists in making us see things: not those which he represents (this is another problem), but those which he manipulates: a few pencil strokes, this squared paper, this touch of pink, this brown smudge. This is an art with a secret, which is in general not that of spreading the substance (charcoal, ink, oils) but of letting it trail behind. One might think that in order to express the character of pencil one has to press it against the paper, to reinforce its appearance, to make it thick, intensely black. Twombly thinks the opposite: it is in holding in check the pressure of matter, in letting it alight almost nonchalantly on the paper so that its grain is a little dispersed, that matter will show its essence and make us certain of its correct name: this is pencil. If we wanted to philosophize a little, we would say that the essence of things is not in their weight but in their lightness; and we would thereby perhaps confirm one of Nietzsche's statements: “What is good is light”: and indeed, nothing is less Wagnerian than Twombly.' (Roland Barthes, The wisdom of art, in: Cy Twombly, Paintings and drawings, 1954-1977, exhib.cat. Whitney Museum of Art, New York 1979, p.9/10)
Del Roscia 141
Galleria Notizie, Turin; Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne; private collection, Rhineland
Cologne 1975 (Galerie Karsten Greve), Cy Twombly, Bilder und Zeichnungen, exhib.cat., n. pag. with illus.