Annabelle d'Huart

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Wall Street Journal
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Archive-press

13 septembre 2022.

Cy Twombly’s Personal World The artist loved classical antiquities and collected ancient objects that he lived with and used as inspiration for his art. For the first time, his collections are on display in Los Angeles alongside his own work.

“Twombly’s relationship to the ancient world was more conceptual than it was visual,” says Richard Rand, the Getty’s associate director of collections, who has organized the show there with Scott Allan, the museum’s curator of paintings. “He’s not responding to the figurative as much as he is the works, their textural quality,” says Rand.
Rather than show the artist’s output chronologically, the Getty is presenting a series of thematic galleries—exploring topics including love, war, poetry and sound using works from different periods and different mediums. In one gallery, for example, the Getty has one of Twombly’s simple painted Chariot of Triumph, from 1990–1998, near a painting from 1968 called Synopsis of a Battle, a densely painted canvas of oil paint and wax crayon that refers to the Battle of Issus from 333 B.C., in which Alexander the Great defeated the army of the Persian king Darius. Amid what appears to be diagrams and numbers that seem to be records of the troops’ movements on the battlefield. Upon close inspection, the words Issus and flank are visible. “These markings at first appear to be random,” Rand says. “But they are actually quite deliberate.”

A 1978 image of Twombly’s Rome apartment. MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON