03 June, 2008

TO SEE... SEE LONDON Cy Twombly : Cycles and Seasons

@ Tate Modern
June 19th - September 14th

For me, the most important painter of the last fifty years: this exhibition will coincide with Cy Twombly's 80th birthday this year. When I was twelve years old I won the award for Classical Civilisation at school and chose a Cy Twombly retrospective monograph as my prize. He has stubbornly created his own pictorial language out of scratches and curves, to the point of obtrusive abstraction; often only giving away a feeling in the title of the piece. Despite being lumped in with the abstract expressionists in the fifties, he has travelled his own path. His work has always been out of context and will therefore never lose its contemporaneity. The colour looks as fresh as the day it was applied, and the scale is often dizzying, with marks ranging from tiny scratches to huge expressive curves and arcs; often punctuated by his distinctive writing style, leaving little clues. The new retrospective promises to span Twombly’s whole career, up to present day, and be the biggest exhibition of Twombly this country has seen in over thirty years. It will include paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs. The sculptures I find less important as works, but I do feel they serve to inform his shape and line, making them useful sketches.

I am full of anticipation for this show, and cannot remember the last time I was this excited about an artists retrospective, I urge you to go and see it while you can; Twombly shows are very rare things. And, I believe this will be one of the most important of his career.

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