Sensations of the moment

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cy Twombly
Sensations of the Moment 04.06.–11.10.09
Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien
Museums Quartier Museumsplatz 1, A-1070 Vienna

The American artist Cy Twombly (born in 1928) is regarded as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Starting off from abstract expressionism he developed his own original style using writing-like signs which he exaggerated in size into monumental, large-format canvases. The presentation in the MUMOK—the first in Austria—brings together works from all periods of his oeuvre and presents a new cycle of works specially created for the show. In Twombly’s pictures and sculptures the ancient myths of the Mediterranean world are evoked though it is the incidental and underlying that is the focal point. The alternation between sensitivity and vulgarity, filigree technique and expressivity constitute the enormous tension in the works. The exhibition, presented as a retrospective, brings together genres that, up till now, have generally been shown separately – sculpture, painting, drawing, graphic works and photographs. The works will be presented in such a way that the mutual reflection, influence and enrichment of the individual mediums will become clear and the aesthetic and conceptual guiding principles in Twombly’s art will become visible: the establishment of the colour white, the use of writing, the significance of the principles of collage and the aesthetic means of expression such as the melancholic down flow of heavily pastose pigment. Up till now it has not been widely known that ever since his time at Black Mountain College in the 1950s, Twombly has been continually occupied with photography. In the Vienna exhibition this wealth of photographic works will be integrated into the depiction of Twombly’s work for the first time.
The building was insane.
A good exhibition but less than last year's retrospective by The Tate Modern in London.