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Brandhorst Flag Commission: Nora Turato

Permanent exhibition

Cy Twombly at Museum Brandhorst

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Cy Twombly Untitled (Roses), 2008

Untitled (Roses)

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Dripping, flowing color, energetic yellow-orange-red squiggles combined with delicate, spidery handwriting. Four large-scale roses in bloom fill the wooden panels. Only on closer inspection do we notice the many details, especially the poems written by the artist on the canvases. The are part of a series of paintings that Cy Twombly dedicates to the rose.

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Space for art

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CY TWOMBLY AND POETRY

Six rose painting were created especially for the room on the upper level of Museum Brandhorst. In creating the works in 2008, Cy Twombly incorporated verses from well-known poets.

Poems

The rose on the left becomes a red space for a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, which he wrote for his tombstone. Cy Twombly makes a change: Instead of “lids” the last word is now “petals.”

 

Rose, 
O pure 
Contradiction, 
the desire 
to be no ones 
Sleep  
under so many  
Petals. 

 

After: Rainer Maria Rilke, Epitaph, 1925

Ponder this

How do you interpret the texts that appear in the “Roses” series?

MORE THAN A FLOWER

The rose. Countless varieties and bright colors, beguiling fragrance and nasty thorns. Symbol of love or of pain?

"I never really separated painting and literature because I’ve always used reference."

Cy Twombly

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HOW THE PICTURES WERE CREATED

Cy painted the roses at the age of 80. Physical limitations and the size of the paintings made him inventive. In order to be able to reach the upper parts of the painting, he attached brushes to broom handles. A shaky affair – can you tell from the way the paint is applied?

THE ROSE IN ART

Where else in art do we encounter the rose?

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Imagination derived from poetry

Create a picture to go with a text of your choice.

Delve deeper

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Cy Twombly

was born in Lexington, Virginia, USA, in 1928 and died in Rome in 2011.