Cy Twombly in Rome

In 2009 I was utterly fortunate to visit Twombly's retrospective in Rome at the  Galleria nationale d'arte moderna e contemporeanea [GNAM].  I had travelled to Europe on a rambling art adventure with three personal 'art targets' - Giotto's Cappella degli scrovegni in Padua, the Museo Morandi in Bologna, and at least one Cy Twombly painting...

Approaching GNAM I caught sight of the banners hanging down from the museum's facade and my heart literally skipped a beat.  Not one Twombly, but ten entire rooms of the gallery dedicated to this exhibition, previously at the Tate and in celebration of Twombly's eightieth birthday. More than seventy works were featured - including sculptures, paintings and works on paper  - spanning Twombly's entire career [thus far]. 

As any fellow admirer of Twombly's work will tell you - to fully appreciate his work it must be seen in the flesh.  We spent the day at GNAM luxuriating in the scribbles, scratches, dribbles, fragmented texts and endless motifs. It was not just an incredible assembly of works, it was an incredible location - Rome - the city that has been both home and muse to Twombly for much of his artistic career.  Having already spent a good deal of time exploring the city prior to seeing the exhibition, I was afforded much insight into the references made in many of his works. 

Cy Twombly
Wilder Shores of Love

For fellow Twombly fans,  cy twombly is a website with a comprehensive list of works, information on the artist and its design is minimal - allowing one to focus on the images featured. Well worth a look.

On the topic of 'Wilder Shores of Love', Yarrabah has its own wild shores and stormy bays complete with slowly corroding shipwrecks that Twombly, I am sure he would appreciate.  Below is an image I took at low tide of the large shipwreck  that decorates mission bay.

and while we are focused on the sea and decay: a little Shakespeare from The Tempest

ARIEL sings
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes:
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell
Burthen Ding-dong
Hark! now I hear them,--Ding-dong, bell.
To read Ariel's song in context, click here.

and for those looking for a sea shanty - here is  Camillie O'Sullivan's version of The Ship Song [Nick Cave] - haunting - wonderful