The Alte Pinakothek exhibition of new sculptures by the American artist Cy Twombly is a minor sensation: the forty or so works have never been presented in Europe before. Indeed, the most recent sculptures have not even been shown at the Twombly Museum of the Menil Collection in their entirety. The works now to be exhibited were selected jointly with the artist himself at his studio in Lexington/Virginia, USA.
By placing them alongside the Twombly paintings from the Brandhorst Collection, the exhibition is able to illustrate the integration of the diverse intellectual and cultural levels of Twombly's works: literature, music, painting, streams of consciousness reflecting on the future and past. Lines and gestured forms of expression are the formal elements of what is also an openly pictorial, sculptural structure in which the notion of the uncompleted has proved to have broken new ground. This artistic position of Twombly is also evident in his use of pre-formed objects and colour - or, alternatively, sheer absence of colour. The sculptures remind the viewer of sculpted plaster objects of the Antiquity with their traces of colour or graffiti.
The fact that, contrary perhaps to expectations, the exhibition is to be held at the Alte Pinakothek rather than the Pinakothek der Moderne is a tribute to the closeness of Cy Twombly's works to the Old Masters and at the same time takes account of the particular exhibition policy of the museums.
The timeless beauty and importance of his art underlines the dialogue between the past and the modern age, ancient cultures and traditions as well as ideas and problems of the present day.
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