I have a really pretty one for today's edition of Art Library: Cy Twombly Paradise (Fundación Jumex Contemporáneo and Damiani, 2014). I actually found this book buried in a sale pile at Anthropologie in the spring, and I still can't stop looking at it.
Curated by Julie Sylvester and Philip Larratt-Smith, this retrospective at the Fundación Jumex Contemporáneo in Mexico was the first exhibition of Twombly's work in Latin America, as well as the first since the artist's death in 2011. It features works from over ten collections, focusing on Twombly's explorations of "the possibilities of the sign in its purest form." The iconic painterly gestures, scratched surfaces, strange calligraphy, and vivid hues take on new layers of meaning in against the backdrop of the passionate and beautiful country.
I mean, the cover alone...
The book begins with a few earlier works, mainly drawings and the primarily white canvases with small spots of color and scribbled forms.
In his essay "Pyschedelic Antiquity, Laratt-Smith writes: "Twombly's work revolves around the great universal themes of love, art, beauty, and death and yet the singularity of his artistic vision, his perspective on the world, renders his work original to the highest degree." At the same time, Twombly was immensely private about his imagery, refusing to discuss his work at length, resulting in an enigmatic, or even "evasive," layer to his oeuvre.
And then, there's color.
The show also included examples of Twombly's sculpture—just as visceral in color and texture as his work, although I think the works on canvas and paper are more powerful.
The full spread/full bleed details in this book are so awe-inspiring—when else can you really get so close to see this?
Twombly's process was meditative, followed by quick, euphoric action: "I work very fast," he once stated, "I sit for two or three hours and then in fifteen minutes I can do a painting . . . A couple of hours of sitting sparks the thing for five or six minutes."
One last look at the design: the end papers, taken from a 1959 collage.
I hope this post gave you a bit of inspiration! Next week I'll be on the road, but I hope to do something a little different for the next Art Library—stay tuned!