July 5, 2011

Cy Twombly


The great Cy Twombly has died.

A snip from the NYTimes:
The critical low point probably came after a 1964 exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York that was widely panned. The artist and writer Donald Judd, who was hostile toward painting in general, was especially damning even so, calling the show a fiasco. ?There are a few drips and splatters and an occasional pencil line,? he wrote in a review. ?There isn?t anything to these paintings.?

A snip from Wikipedia:

Phaedrus incident

In 2007, an exhibition of Twombly's paintings, Blooming, a Scattering of Blossoms and Other Things, and other works on paper from gallerist Yvon Lambert's collection was displayed from June to September in Avignon (France), at the Lambert Foundation (H?tel de Caumont). On July 19, 2007, police arrested Cambodian-French artist Rindy Sam after she kissed one panel of Twombly's triptych Phaedrus. The panel, an all-white canvas, was smudged by Sam's red lipstick. She was tried in a court in Avignon for "voluntary degradation of a work of art".

Sam defended her gesture to the court: "J'ai fait juste un bisou. C'est un geste d'amour, quand je l'ai embrass?, je n'ai pas r?fl?chi, je pensais que l'artiste, il aurait compris... Ce geste ?tait un acte artistique provoqu? par le pouvoir de l'art" ("It was just a kiss, a loving gesture. I kissed it without thinking; I thought the artist would understand.... It was an artistic act provoked by the power of Art").

The prosecution, calling it "A sort of cannibalism, or parasitism", while admitting that Sam is "visibly not conscious of what she has done", asked that she be fined ?4500, compelled to an assorted penalty, and to attend citizenship classes. The art work, which is worth an estimated $2 million, was on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Avignon. In November 2007 Sam was convicted and ordered to pay ?1,000 to the painting's owner, ?500 to the Avignon gallery that showed it, and 1? to the painter.

(Emphasis mine. And here we have with two snips, the twin extents of a low regard that resulted in valorization and a high regard that resulted in defacement.)

(Photo by Robert Rauchenberg, Via.)

Posted by Dennis at July 5, 2011 10:39 PM

Leave a comment