press release

Coinciding with Cy Twombly's eightieth birthday, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao present the most important monographic exhibition that any Spanish institution has ever dedicated to this artist-one of the most influential of the latter half of the 20th century and the dawn of the 21st-from October 28, 2008, to February 15, 2009, organized in collaboration with the Tate Modern in London.

A selection of nearly 100 works, including paintings, sculptures and drawings, will occupy the second floor and one gallery on the first floor, with particular emphasis on the most important thematic series created by the artist over the course of his career. Saving a few exceptions, the works are arranged in chronological order.

This exhibition also emphasizes the museum's special relationship and commitment to this artist in recent years with the 2007 acquisition of his series Nine Discourses on Commodus (1963), the first unitarily conceived series that Cy Twombly has ever designed and around which the exhibit revolves.

The curator of the exhibition is Carmen Giménez, a great expert on the artist's work who was also responsible for organizing Cy Twombly in spring 1987, the first major retrospective of this artist in Spain. Previously, in 1986, Cy Twombly was among the artist included in the inaugural exhibition of the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía entitled Referencias: un encuentro artístico en el tiempo (References: An Artistic Encounter in Time), also curated by Carmen Giménez. Later on, in autumn 1987, the exhibition of La Colección Sonnabend (The Sonnabend Collection), curated by Jean Louis Froment at the same museum also included a significant representation of the artist's work.

The presentation of the works that comprise this unique monographic show establishes an interesting dialogue with the unmistakable architecture of Frank Gehry's building, whose curving galleries and great fanlights bring out the strength of Twombly's work and the rich tonalities and textures of his paintings and sculptures.

The exhibition has received important works on loan from European institutions, including the Tate Modern in London, the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Darios Collection in Zurich, as well as from the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Menil Collection of Houston and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in the United States. Cy Twombly has also very generously made it possible to exhibit pieces from his own personal collection, as have representatives of many other private institutions and collections both in Spain and abroad.

To accompany the exhibit, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has published a catalogue that features an introduction by Carmen Giménez and the essay Zahorí (Dowser) by Prof. Francisco Calvo Serraller, a tenured professor of art history at the Complutense University of Madrid. It also includes two interviews of the artist, one by Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate in London, and the other by the recently deceased art critic David Sylvester, an art historian who produced some of the best writings on Cy Twombly's work.

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Cy Twombly
Kurator: Carmen Gimenez