Cy Twombly - Sperlonga collage
Collage: paper, glue and crayon. 27.5 x 21.7 cm. Framed under glass. Signed and dated 'Twombly 59' verso. - Traces of studio and minor traces of age.
Having spent some time in Rome in 1952 in the course of a European tour, Cy Twombly moved permanently there from New York in February 1957 in order on the one hand to be inspired by the ancient art, and on the other to maintain and build his numerous contacts to art colleagues and galleries.
Influenced by the ancient buildings and the old and modern street drawings he found there, he developed white-grounded pictures with light strokes and fragments of letters. ''In his experience and his art occupied a new feeling for the ancient traditions of a new space of lived contemporary freedoms. He experienced the contrasts as belonging together and surprised the Italian by showing him his own unacknowledged or scorned cutural and visual environment as the material for a truly contemporary and personal art. (…) It is exactly that what he brought with him - an affinity to white and what he called in 1956 his 'deep aesthetic sense for the eroded or antique surfaces of time', as well as a recently formed vocabulary of superimposed linial markings -, which should get him in the mood for the scarred marble of Rome. In a similar way, his feeling for the modern art of collage should make him sensitive to the manifold walls composed of re-used stones together with fragments of ancient figures and inscriptions.'' (Kirk Varnedoe, Cy Twonbly, a Retrospective, Munich et.al. 1994, p. 31).
The Gallery Tartaruga held one of the first exhibitions of the current work of Cy Twombly in Rome in May 1958. It initially received little resonance, but after the opening in Milan in the autumn of 1958 it celebrated an overwhelming success. This was the starting point for a series of exhibitions of Twombly's work in Gallery Tartaruga over the following years; the present collage was also exhibited there.
Del Roscia II 156
Galleria La Tartaruga, Rome; Galerie Karsten Greve, Cologne; private collection, Rhineland