The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Saturday, October 16, 2021


Bastian opens an exhibition of works by Jeff Koons & Cy Twombly
Installation view.



LONDON.- Jeff Koons & Cy Twombly: Primal Gestures brings together a highly unusual pairing of two giants of post-war art.

Highlighting two seemingly opposing practices, the exhibition exposes Twombly’s rich visual lexicon of mark-making and gestural abstraction and pairs it against the reductive machine-made forms of Koons while teasing out underlying elements that suggest a commonality that is perhaps not all it appears to be.

The title of the exhibition takes its inspiration from Koon’s painting Primal Swish. Executed between 2008-11 it showcases a multi-layered explosion of energetic swirls whose energy is jarred against the serenity and three-dimensional lure of a rose.

There is an unsettling precision in the way the Koons has applied his expressionistic linear brushstrokes with the viewer lured into a Twombly-esque vigor of densely layered gestures. Lacking any emotive character and natural fluidity, the swirls and scripts have in fact been enlarged, edited and layered using Photoshop, before being fastidiously painted on canvas to achieve an exact replication. Koons writes, "They are fake gestures... - they make reference to gestures. A gesture can be an intellectual gesture, it doesn't have to be physical." Koons set his sights on a meticulous devotion to the mechanics of reality and unpicks the chameleonic dynamic between the physical and the psychological.

In contrasting dialogue, is Cy Twombly’s Untitled set of six lithographs printed in 1971 which were born out of the artist’s journey to achieve a more expressive form of gesture. Working directly onto the litho stones, Twombly was able to indulge in a more visceral process of mark-making, developing a new script that spoke directly to the relationship between crayon and stone, ink and paper. Regarded as the pinnacle of Twombly’s achievements in printmaking, this series encapsulates the artist’s fascination with raw gestural mark-making and script while capturing a melody of heavy impasto coils, sharp scratches and breathily sketched spirals.

Two further Koons works here are from the Gazing Ball series in which Koons makes direct reference to canonical works art. In each work, a blue mirrored, seemingly three-dimensional hand-blown glass gazing ball reflects its surroundings. On closer inspection the surface remains resolutely two-dimensional, drawing the viewer to dissect another fraudulent interplay of fact and fiction.

Like much of his work, the Gazing Ball series reactivates and intensifies familiar scenes, whether from legend or the everyday, reflecting and affirming viewers and their environments. Cy Twombly developed a gestural vocabulary in which each line and colour is infused with energy, spirituality, and meaning. His works are simultaneously personal and mythological, allowing narrative, language, and inner visions to erupt from his intimate, abstract notations. Also included in the exhibition is Twombly’s Five Greek Poets and a Philosopher, a set which captures the artist profound dedication to ancient culture. Sharp, gestural capital letters tease out the names of Latin poets and Greek philosophers, as if presented scrawled onto stone tablets.

We are left to decipher the politics of process and presentation, to find merit in the hyperreal reproduction or the frenetic violence of one’s primal gestures.










Today's News

October 13, 2021

A Nazi legacy haunts a museum's new galleries

Philadelphia Museum of Art opens first major exhibition dedicated to the photographs of Richard Benson

Pace Gallery presents a multi-media installation by Torkwase Dyson

Fine photographs at Swann October 21

Amy Winehouse belongings expected to reach $2 mn at auction

Seattle Art Museum announces inaugural acquisitions from new fund for contemporary global art

Bastian opens an exhibition of works by Jeff Koons & Cy Twombly

Newfields acquires a rare painting by Juan de Pareja

Christie's announces Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds Including Oriental Rugs and Carpets sale

Return of 'talking drum' to Ivory Coast a 'historic move': traditional leader

Christie's announces an auction to benefit the New York City AIDS Memorial

Work by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo rediscovered in attic

Almine Rech now represents Gerasimos Floratos

Milestone Auctions records its highest-grossing antique toy sale to date

Hayward Gallery unveils glistening waterfall and sculptures from Berlin-based artist Klaus Weber

Longtime division leader Chris Strand named Director of Winterthur

JK Rowling releases Christmas book inspired by son's toy pigs

French film festival back with a bang in Hollywood

Michaan's announces sale featuring fine art, furniture, decorative arts, Asian art and jewelry

Missoula Art Museum showcases site-specific installation, photorealistic drawings by Jodi Lightner

Exhibition at Binghamton University Art Museum centers on Andrew Krivine's collection of punk ephemera

Billionaire's watch collection goes to auction

Two singers reveal the core of art song, on stages big and small

Exhibition of works by Thomas Eggerer opens at Maureen Paley's Studio M location




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