Cy Twombly - Untitled - from Tate Modern Catalogue Cycles and Seasons
I'm planning a new piece of work, and all sorts of threads and thoughts are coming together. Today an unexpected reference came to mind. Last summer I went to the Cy Twombly retrospective at Tate Modern, Cycles and Seasons; lovely to see those big works in that space. What I was not familiar with however were his sculptures; they actually had more impact on me for their unfamiliarity.
Lettering has always featured in my work, and much of my own training was with practitioners who were expanding the boundaries of the discipline. I was very much interested in that grey area between the craft of lettering and the practice of fine art. Here was Cy Twombly making paintings with his scribbly, drippy, sgraffito script - I didn't really think about the connection - but subliminally, almost by osmosis some of that sense of materiality and surface seeped through.
Cy Twombly - Arcadia, 1958 - seen here
Discovering the sculptures made me jump though - I felt very familiar with them although I hadn't seen them before; they resonated with my recent work and my own move away from the two dimensional. Now they're tiptoeing lightly through my thoughts again, it's the simplicity I think, the whiteness. It's the use of everyday, reclaimed materials and the deep, implicit connections to mythology and story. Some exhibitions and artists shout at you and demand attention; some steal in quietly and loiter in the shadows whispering, so it has been for me with Cy Twombly.