Skip to main content
0
Info
Permanent exhibition

Cy Twombly at Museum Brandhorst

Since
Cy Twombly , Lepanto VII, 2001, UAB 475aus der Sammlung Brandhorst

Museum Brandhorst in Munich holds one of the most extensive collections of works by the American artist Cy Twombly (1928 – 2011). The entire upper floor of the museum is dedicated to him. The highlights of the unique collection include the Roses Gallery and the Lepanto cycle with a room specially created for it.

Exhibition info

Period

Since

Location

Upper floor

Curated by

Achim Hochdörfer

About the exhibition

The exhibition on the upper floor spans a comprehensive arc from Cy Twombly’s early works to his last pieces. Charged, abstract forms, painterly gestures, and approaches to writing are recurring motifs in Twombly’s oeuvre. The scrawling lines applied to mostly white, often dirty-looking backgrounds are reminiscent of New York graffiti as well as inscriptions and carvings on Roman ruins. These and other allusions to his adopted country Italy and the Mediterranean culture can be found as topoi in his works.

Ausstellungsansicht Museum brandhorst mit Werken von Cy Twombly Wie die Sammlung Brandhorst ins Museum fand
Ausstellungsansicht Museum Brandhorst mit Werken von Cy Twombly Architektur von Sauerbruch & Hutton
Cy Twombly, Untitled, 2005, UAB 489aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Installationsansicht Cy Twombly im Museum Brandhorst
Cy Twombly, Rotalla, 1986/1990, UAB 463aus der Sammlung Brandhorst
Skultpur der Künstlers Cy Twombly aus weißen gips in rechteckiger Form mit farbigen Blumeartigen Elementen

The Lepanto Cycle

The monumental “Lepanto” cycle (2001) is a major work by Cy Twombly, consisting of twelve paintings that are on permanent display in the Lepanto Room at Museum Brandhorst. The room was designed according to the artist’s wishes. Unusual color accents in a wide range of yellows, reds, turquoises and aquamarines define the drama of the sequence of paintings, which focus on one of the most symbolic naval battles in history: On October 7, 1571, the Holy League, an alliance of Spanish, Venetian, and Papal forces, defeated the Ottoman fleet at Lepanto (now Nafpaktos) on the Gulf of Corinth.

 

The paintings are arranged in alternating sequences of single motifs and series: The first, fourth, eighth, and twelfth paintings appear as bird’s-eye views of boat hulls, which at the same time give the impression of flames or gaping wounds because of the coloration. In the three intervening sequences, the dramaturgy of a battle is hinted at: From the tense calm before the confrontation begins, to the explosions of color in the center, to the red-colored panels at the end. In Twombly’s work, there is no partisanship: the ships do not form opposing fleets, they do not fight or win, they only burn and sink into the sea-blue glazes.

Installationsansicht von Cy Twomblys Lepantosaal im Museum Brandhorst in München
Ausstellungsansicht Lepanto-Saal von Cy Twombly im Museum Brandhorst in München
Besucherin im Museum Brandhorst im Lepanto Saal von Cy Twombly
Installationsansicht von Cy Twomblys Lepantosaal im Museum Brandhorst in München
Installationsansicht von Cy Twomblys Lepantosaal im Museum Brandhorst in München

The Roses Gallery

In 2008, Cy Twombly created a series of six paintings entitled “Untitled (Roses)” especially for Museum Brandhorst. Their presentation in this room is unique due to the mutual effect and coordination between architecture and art. The large paintings depict a series of abstracted roses composed of overlapping planes and brushstrokes. In bold hues of red, pink, blue, yellow and green, countless streaks flow across the canvas, reinforcing the power and intensity of the motifs.

 

Flowers and the exploration of their cultural and historical significance occupy a prominent place in Cy Twombly’s work. As with many of his works, Twombly has attached literary references to roses, thus telling a small “cultural history of the rose.” Cy Twombly uses poems by Rilke, Eliot, Dickinson and Bachmann, alluding to very different themes such as memory, beauty, eroticism, loneliness, vulnerability and death.

Rosensaal von Cy Twombly im Museum Brandhorst
Besucherin im Museum Brandhorst vor Werken von Cy Twombly Rosensaal
Ausstellungsansicht Museum brandhorst mit Werken von Cy Twombly Rosensaal 'Forever Young - 10 Jahre Museum Brandhorst'

“For me, the past is the source, because all art is essentially contemporary.”

Cy Twombly

From the media library

Cy Twombly in the Brandhorst Collection

Udo Brandhorst purchased his first work by Cy Twombly in Munich in 1967; thereafter, Twombly was always central to the Brandhorsts’ passion for collecting. Over the course of the 1970s, they gradually acquired further drawings and paintings, and from the late 1980s also sculptures. These continuous acquisitions allow Museum Brandhorst to provide an overview of Twombly’s entire oeuvre, from the 1950s to his very last works. A deep friendship developed between the couple and Twombly, which also led to the Brandhorsts seeing many of his works in his studio before they were even finished.

Artworks on view

Artwork: "Ramification" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Ramification, 1971 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Bacchanalia – Winter (5 Days in February)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Bacchanalia – Winter (5 Days in February), 1977 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Bacchanalia – Fall (5 Days in October)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Bacchanalia – Fall (5 Days in October), 1977 no Ground floor
Artwork: "Bacchanalia – Fall (5 Days in November)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Bacchanalia – Fall (5 Days in November), 1977 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Bacchanalia – Winter (5 Days in January)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Bacchanalia – Winter (5 Days in January), 1977 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto I" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto I, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto VII" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto VII, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto IV" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto IV, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto VIII" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto VIII, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto XI" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto XI, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto XII" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto XII, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto VI" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto VI, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto V" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto V, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto II" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto II, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto III" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto III, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto IX" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto IX, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Lepanto X" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Lepanto X, 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Camino Real)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Camino Real), 2011 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Gaeta Set (For The Love of Fire & Water)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Gaeta Set (For The Love of Fire & Water), 1981 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Gaeta)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Gaeta), 1992 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Rome)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Rome), 1983 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Winter’s Passage: Luxor (Rome)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Winter’s Passage: Luxor (Rome), 1985 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Rotalla" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Rotalla, 1986/1990 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Gaeta)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Gaeta), 1990 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Thermopylae (Meudon)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Thermopylae (Meudon), 1990 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Gaeta)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Gaeta), 1993 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Celtic Boat (Gaeta)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Celtic Boat (Gaeta), 1994 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled, 2003 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled, 2003 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled, 2003 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled, 2004 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled, 2005 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Bacchus)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Bacchus), 2005 yes Lower level
Artwork: "Untitled (Bacchus)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Bacchus), 2005 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (“THE MATHEMATICAL DREAM OF ASHURBANIPAL”) (Lexington)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (“THE MATHEMATICAL DREAM OF ASHURBANIPAL”) (Lexington), 2000 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (“Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum”) (Lexington)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (“Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum”) (Lexington), 2000 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (“In Memory of Babur”) (Lexington)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (“In Memory of Babur”) (Lexington), 2000 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Capri)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Capri), 1960 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Gaeta)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Gaeta), 2004 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Roma)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Roma), 1965 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Lexington)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Lexington), 2003 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Lexington)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Lexington), 2001 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Lexington)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Lexington), 2002 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Lexington)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Lexington), 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Lexington)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Lexington), 2001 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (New York City)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (New York City), 1955/2002 yes Lower level
Artwork: "Untitled (New York City)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (New York City), 1968 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Rome)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Rome), 1953/1989 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Rome)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Rome), 1957 no Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Rome)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Rome), 1962 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Roses)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Roses), 2008 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Roses)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Roses), 2008 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Roses)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Roses), 2008 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Roses)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Roses), 2008 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Roses)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Roses), 2008 yes Upper floor
Artwork: "Untitled (Roses)" from Cy Twombly
Cy Twombly Untitled (Roses), 2008 yes Upper floor

Cy Twombly in Munich

Cy Twombly’s attachment to the Bavarian metropolis goes back to the 1960s. He liked the southern flair of the city, whose intellectual and everyday life is characterized by a pronounced closeness to Italy, matching that of the artist, who had already moved to Rome in 1957. He loved the museums, especially the Glyptothek and the Alte Pinakothek, and liked to exhibit his art frequently in Munich. New groups of works were regularly shown in gallery exhibitions here; in 1973, one of his first institutional solo exhibitions was held at the Lenbachhaus, and his monumental Lepanto cycle made a splendid appearance at the Alte Pinakothek in 2002. Individual works by Twombly are inspired by T. S. Elliot’s “The Waste Land”— a favorite poem of Twombly’s that begins with a tribute to Munich:

 

“April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire […]
Summer surprised us, coming over the Starnbergersee
With a shower of rain; we stopped in the colonnade,
And went on in sunlight, into the Hofgarten,
And drank coffee, and talked for an hour. […]

T. S. Elliot, “The Waste Land,” 1922