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The Cy Twombly Gallery: The Menil Collection, Houstonby Nicola Del Roscio
Synopses & Reviews
American artist Cy Twombly (1928andndash;2011) created paintings and sculptures that defied conventional classification. In his works, Twombly incorporated a wide variety of elements, from scrawls and calligraphic marks to text from poetry and mythology. Opening in 1995, the Cy Twombly Gallery at the Menil Collection was designed by Renzo Piano and has become a pilgrimage destination for the artistandrsquo;s avid admirers. The product of close collaboration between the Menil, Twombly, and the Dia Center for the Arts, the Gallery is one of the most extraordinary representations of any single 20th-century artist. Twombly chose the art that would be featured and worked closely with the builders to create the most appropriate venue for its presentation.
This sumptuous volume showcases thirty-three paintings and eleven sculptures, including an immense 13 x 52andndash;foot painting. Featuring large-scale, close-up details of many of the works, the book looks at paint, plaster, paintings, sculptures, and the andldquo;cuesandrdquo; that Twombly gave in his art about this special collection.
"This elegant book, in addition to beautifully rendered documentation of the gallery's collection of 'the freest, most open work ever created,' includes an evocative photographic tour of the gallery, which opened in 1995, and two illuminating essays about its establishment. The first, by Paul Winkler, Menil's then-director, discusses American painter and sculptor Twombly's (1928 — 2011) collaboration in the gallery's design, including facsimiles of the artist's ballpoint letters with sketches of proposed proportions and shapes. Architect Renzo Piano's design process featured lighting through a roof with a 'series of light-filtering planes' that create a 'sensation akin to levitation.' The second essay, by conservator Carol Mancusi-Ungaro, depicts the intimate process of restoring art works to Twombly's wishes, illuminating the contrast between conservative restorer and spontaneous artist. In the foreword, Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection, says about Twombly, 'The space he had created for himself was indeed remarkable: a space that allowed him to carry out his life and his art as an alternative to what we might call reality.' This extraordinary gallery gives the public a means to enter that space, and for readers unable to visit it in person, the book gives an enthralling glimpse into Twombly's idiosyncratic world. 109 color illus." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A visual celebration of one of the most renowned artists of our time, along with the extraordinary Gallery he helped to create to showcase his work
The first publication about the Cy Twombly Galleryand#160;chronicles the projectand#8217;s conception and the evolution of the artistand#8217;s vision for the display that enhanced his widespread popularity.
About the Author
Paul Winkler was the director of The Menil Collection when the Cy Twombly Gallery was built. Conservator Carol Mancusi-Ungaro is affiliated with the Center for the Technical Study of Modern Art at the Harvard Art Museums and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
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