Eykyn MacLean officially opens on Februrary 7th their new space in London (30 St. George Street) with a show of 11 Cy Twombly works once owned by the dealer Ileana Sonnabend (the show will move to New York in April):
Twombly (1928 –2011) drew upon ideas expressed in poetry, literature and classical mythology. Full of surface complexity and whirlwinds of tiny detail, his works convey an intense physicality and a real sense of the artist at work.
Untitled (New York City), (1956) is the earliest work in the exhibition. Vigorous gestures are built up layer upon layer, the surface revealing the strata of scrawls partially buried beneath each successive mark, resulting in a painting that is at once archaeology and abstraction.
Another five works from 1959 to 1962 continue to blur the line between painting and writing, with symbols, scribbles, and words occupying the same energised field. With references to cultural figures such as Vivaldi, mythological tales like the Triumph of Galatea, and geographical names such as Roma and Sperlonga, Twombly’s work from this period is rich with narrative evocations
A key work in the show is Untitled (1969), a gouache and wax crayon on paper. Reminiscent of a blackboard, it is part of a series of works from the late 1960’s that comprise Twombly’s signature ‘grey paintings’.
The two works in the show from the 1970s – Untitled (1975) and Napoli (1975) – signal a new direction in his work, with the use of large-scale gestures in bold, vibrant colours, that he would go on to explore throughout the rest of his working life.
A fully-illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition with essays by Annie Cohen-Solal, author of the recent biography of dealer Leo Castelli, and James Lawrence, a critic and historian of post-war and contemporary art and frequent contributor to Burlington Magazine