9 August - 27 October 2002
Cy Twombly is unquestionably one of America's greatest living artists, and it was our pleasure to present this, his first ever solo exhibition in Scotland. The exhibition for Inverleith House was a survey of the different media Twombly had employed in a celebrated career spanning over fifty years. Sculpture, paintings, collages, drawings, prints and photographs from the last twenty years have been specially selected for exhibition with a particular emphasis on natural forms to reflect the context of the Royal Botanic Garden.
Cy Twombly was born in 1928 in Lexington, Virginia. In 2001, he received the prestigious 'Golden Lion' award at The Venice Biennale, in recognition of a lifetime's achievement which has included retrospective exhibitions at the Kunsthaus, Zürich in 1987; the Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, in 1988; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1994. He lives in Italy with studios in Rome and Gaeta.
Twombly has been heavily influenced by text, taking inspiration from the 'Art Informel' movement of Dubuffet and Wols to literally write paintings. His time spent at Black Mountain College in 1951-52 under the tutelage of Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell, had a great impact on this direction. Interestingly, during military service from 1953 to 1954, Twombly was assigned to cryptology - analysing and deciphering codes. Poetry and myth are entwined with painterly gesture to make bold and evocative works of art. As Cy Twombly has been described as the 'Painter of Writing' by Roland Barthes, this exhibition seemed particularly fitting to follow on from the Ed Ruscha - The Mountains (2001) and Lawrence Weiner - Time and Place (2000) exhibitions.
The exhibition was presented in association with Gagosian Gallery, London and supported by The Scottish Arts Council.
All works courtesy of the artist and Gagosian Gallery.