December 2016

The Centre Pompidou is presenting a major retrospective of the work of Cy Twombly.

Organized around three major cycles – Nine Discourses on Commodus (1963), Fifty Days at Iliam (1978) and Coronation of Sesostris (2000) – this retrospective covers the artist’s entire career in a chronological circuit of some 140 paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs, providing a clear picture of an extraordinarily rich body of work which is both intellectual and sensual. The selection includes many of Twombly’s iconic works, several of them never previously exhibited in France.

30 November 2016 - 24 April 2017 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. or from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Galerie 1 - Centre Pompidou, Paris.

Cy Twombly, Veil of Orpheus, 1968

Gagosian Gallery Paris is presenting an exhibition of paintings and works on paper by Cy Twombly.

It coincides with the retrospective “Cy Twombly” opening at Centre Pompidou, Paris on November 30.

The selection of works, dating between 1968 and 1979, take as their subject the figure of Orpheus. Orpheus, the mythic archetype representing the artist and the creative process itself was also the subject of Sonnets to Orpheus, a cycle of fifty-five sonnets written by Rainer Maria Rilke in 1922, which were of great inspiration to Twombly. The works on show have never been brought together until now.

Orpheus’s lyrical skills were such that he was able to convince Hades, god of the underworld, to return his wife and muse, Eurydice. Hades’s one stipulation was that Orpheus not turn to look at Eurydice as he walked back toward the world of the living. But Orpheus could not resist and she was cast back forever. Later, he would be torn apart by Dionysian maenads.

Rilke wrote of artists as links between the past, present, and future. In urgent gestures, Twombly was able to evoke centuries of historical record and artistic endeavor. In The Veil of Orpheus (1968), he traced wax crayon lines over panels of painted canvas, creating what he referred to as “a time line without time.” In the painting Orpheus (1979), he inscribed the name of Orpheus in the Cyrillic alphabet in an allusion to his eventual dismemberment. In his rendering of the Western myth, Twombly traces “a two-way movement: infinity and forgetfulness; destruction and transcendence; ascent and descent.” (Mary Jacobus, Reading Cy Twombly: Poetry in Paint).

Paris Cy Twombly Orpheus DEC 1, 2016 - FEB 18, 2017