Maine writes: "On loan to The Morgan Libraryfrom the Menil Collection ... Cy Twombly’s Treatise on the Veil (Second Version) ... is immersive, sensuous and pictorial. Roughly ten by 33 feet, it was painted in Rome in 1970 and features the reductive gray-and-white palette Twombly had by that time been working with for several years. Photographs of these paintings often accentuate the gray’s bluish undertone, making it appear denser than it is; the Menil canvas’s enormous expanse of translucent, brushy paint evokes not a chalkboard but thick smoke or deep shadow... twelve untitled drawings ... appear to be studies and are presented, with great success, as fully resolved works. Laced even more abundantly than the painting with Twombly’s distinctive, ad-hoc calligraphic scrawl, they incorporate scribbles, smudges, erasures and rubber-stampings, as well as multi-panel collage structures."
Yau writes: "In Twombly’s case, every scribble and scrawl feels absolutely necessary. This is how the drawings in the exhibition came across, and I could only marvel at them. Through the placement of the five or six strips of paper and the density of marks covering them, as well as the folding or tearing of the bottom edge, Twombly was able to evoke a multiplicity of narratives within the framework of the series’ inspiration, which is the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice emerging from the underworld. Attached by tape at the top, the strips suggest veils, plinths and abstract forms. With the marks covering them going from an all-over density to a few scrawls, one could read them as moving from darkness to light, registering the fated journey undertaken by Orpheus and Eurydice as he tries to lead her out of the underworld. In one drawing, the two strips on the far left side touch each other near their top inside edges, so that they slowly spread apart as they descend. They could be a veil torn apart, or two figures leaning on each other, or an opening between two massive slabs. Twombly was never literal and the rich allusiveness of his work resists a reductive approach or any sense there is a one-to-one correspondence, with this meaning that."
Wragg writes: "I am fascinated by Twombly’s compulsion, shared with many recent and current painters, for urgency, here-ness, enveloping near-ness, and close-ness, beyond composition. Concomitant with science’s understanding of the expanding evolution and nature of the universe, I find it interesting to see how the mark-making of Turner, Monet and Twombly evolved successively bigger, nearer and more emphatically tactile from one to the other over the span of three centuries. Twombly’s application of paint is more splashy, gungy and physical than Monet’s, whereas Monet’s is more systematically flattened and emphasised across the surface than Turner’s. Nowadays bonkers erratic in your face scribblings and splashings or heightened-colour-flatness stems from a very real need for possession, for being thrown out, in and around, and gripped by a simultaneously in out of kilter connectivity. The spectator becomes a magnet catching the memory of fleeting sensations of being in the studio and has an empathy with the artist working directly with painting. The overriding power of making and resolution seems to arise in spirit as much as in feeling, in the hand; it is central to the experience of most of the paintings in this exhibition, that seem of their time yet as timeless as the first handprint in pigment on a cave wall, made forty seven thousand years ago."
In a two part essay, Bernhard Gaul considers texts on Carpaccio (by Michel Serres and Andrey Tarkovsky) in relation to viewing Carpaccio's paintings.
Gaul writes: "Carpaccio doesn’t appear to be that high up on the hit list of currently popular painters. Even in Venice, the painter’s home town, his work appears to be marketed as something that is also there, in the shadow of much bigger names like Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo and Veronese or, of course, Canaletto – rather than a principle reason to visit. I assume this may have to do with the impression that in much of Carpaccio’s work painting bears all the hallmarks of a craft – it appears more rooted in community than being the domain of an eccentric individual (like Caravaggio or van Gogh), while we have become accustomed to expect that it takes the latter to create paintings of real meaning, that speak to us directly..."
Pac Pobric reviews the exhibition Cy Twombly and the School of the Fontainebleau at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum, Berlin, on view through October 7, 2012.
Pobric writes: "If saying that Twombly was an artist and not a historian seems obvious, the implications of that probably aren’t. When we say that Twombly was a painter interested in art history, all that means is that his working through the history of art was material and not theoretical. Whatever affinity he had for the School of the Fontainebleau is therefore going to be mediated through the material practice of his painting. That filter—the process of making work with influences in mind—therefore obscures the connection between the final picture and the influence, making the connection highly tenuous."
Schad writes: "Camino Real is a 1948 play by Tennessee Williams... and when it comes to entering into a dialogue with the works at Gagosian, reading the text can be illuminating... On the set, there is a wall and a gate that separates the town from what is simply out there - an unknown wasteland, a place where no one ever comes back from, Terra Incognita... I think about Twombly at the end of a long journey, which has taken him to places in the old world and the texts of our Western culture that I would like to visit. To find him in the end in Camino Real, in that uncertain and horrible territory, dizzy with fever and crime and impossible dreaming, where one can peek over the wall but cannot see it, is chilling."
Hoetger writes: "The Last Paintings includes eight untitled works from 2011—all known under the moniker Untitled (Camino Real) - which are closely related to the Camino Real group that inaugurated Gagosian Paris in 2010. At nearly 100-inches tall, these large-scale works on plywood stand as records of a human scale action. The full-bodied momentum of the circular gestures is sped up by the intensity of the complimentary colors. The bold orange, yellow, and red marks on a neon green background seem to make the surface flicker with energy."
Painter Steven Alexander discovers a treasure trove of video interviews by Carol Mancusi-Ungaro with painters including: Jasper Johns, Brice Marden, David Novros, Cy Twombly, and James Rosenquist at the Artists Documentation Program.
Alexander writes: "Ms. Mancusi-Ungaro is remarkably adept at asking questions that lead to revealing insights into each artist's thinking process as well as rarely glimpsed details about how certain works were made. For painters, as for conservators, this series is an almost endless well of technical and conceptual information."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.