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Sotheby’s Paris conjures the classical world of Cy Twombly

To coincide with the Paris+ par Art Basel international art fair, Sotheby’s Paris has unveiled the third edition of its pop-up selling exhibition at the Galerie Beauvau, dedicated to artist Cy Twombly.

Exhibition and sale, Cy Twombly & Friends, runs until 29 October 2023 and is created in collaboration with Galerie Chenel and celebrated photographer François Halard – both of whom pay homage to Twombly through curated antiquities and intimate interior photography of the spaces he inhabited.

Twombly’s legacy extends beyond his artwork. When abstraction dominated the international art scene, he refused to abandon figuration. Instead, he leaned into his fascination with the poetic and mythical realm of antiquities and intricately weaving them into the visual tapestry of his life, particularly his Italian homes in Gaeta and Bassano – curated to mirror his artistic inspirations.

In Gaeta, Twombly’s home embodied rustic charm, exuding a timeless Mediterranean allure. Walls were adorned with a palette of earthy hues – an ideal backdrop for his works – while rooms and gardens were dotted with Greek and Roman sculptures and relics. It was a space where the past and present intertwined, and the natural beauty of the coastal Italian surroundings was an integral part of the décor.

Cy Twombly, Bassano God First, 2021. Photography: © François Halard, courtesy of Sotheby’s & the artist

Bassano held a different kind of allure – an elegant fusion of modernity and classicism. The Teverina property’s sun-drenched interiors reflected Twombly’s eclecticism, mainly through his collection of antique Roman marbles, including bas-reliefs, massive busts, and delicate fragments. These marbles were not just decorative; for Twombly, they forged a dialogue with the past.

Inspired by Twombly’s Italian residencies, Galerie Chenel has curated a selection of antique Roman marbles for the exhibition, creating a contemporary scenography enriched by ancient sculpture.

Complementing the visual spectacle of Twombly’s homes is François Halard’s photographic journey.

His lens captured Twombly in Gaeta (1994-1995) and Bassano (2021), offering an intimate glimpse into the artist’s life. Halard’s photography is not merely a documentation of spaces; it’s an exploration of the unspeakable essence embedded in Twombly’s artistic retreats.

Cy Twombly & Friends with Galerie Chenel & François Halard Selling Exhibition runs until 29 October 2023 at Sotheby’s, Place Beauvau, 92 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, 75008 Paris.

François Halard Gods First 2022/ Photography: © the artist, courtesy of Sotheby’s

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